Reports: Sabatini taking meetings in France

According to this morning’s edition of Gazzetta dello Sport, Roma’s Sporting Director Walter Sabatini will look to reinforce the squad’s defence after having wrapped up the midfield with Seydou Keita and Salih Uçan.

Sabatini flew to France yesterday where he held meetings with players that manager Rudi Garcia has recommended. The highest recommendations are for Marko Basa and Lucas Digne who both played under Garcia at Lille.

Roma are still waiting to see what will happen with Benatia but in the mean time Roma are on the hunt for a third choice center back. Sabatini has recognized that signing Rafael Toloi from Sao Paulo will be very difficult and hence has turned his attention to Basa. The Montenegrin defender has the handicap of non-EU status but would be very cheap (around 3-4 million) because he’s a veteran at 31 years of age.  The deal for Digne would be much harder considering PSG paid 15 million for him last summer and so Sabatini will work on potentially loaning the left back for one season with an option to purchase. Sabatini has also contacted Layvin Kurzawa (Monaco) in the case that the Digne offer is rejected.

In the meantime, other negotiations continue. In England, the Daily Express has again stated that Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United will make another attempt to sign Kevin Strootman. Van Gaal reportedly has £200 million with which to spend on bringing in new players to the club, with Strootman and Mats Hummels seen as the biggest priorities. Roma have already told United that the Dutchman is not for sale, but if faced with an offer of 35 million Sabatini may be tempted to sell.

In the recent days, meetings between Sergio Berti and Torino over Alessio Cerci’s renewal have taken place. Berti has asked that Cerci receive a salary of 2 million plus bonuses (Cerci currently earns €o,76 million). Torino have already emphasized that Cerci will not leave for less than 20 million.