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Arsenal are leading the race for Lorenzo Pellegrini, along with Manchester United and Chelsea, but the Premier League trio will have to wait to sign him, according to reports.
Italian outlet Il Messaggero write that Chelsea, Arsenal and United are ‘positioned in the front row’ for Pellegrini’s signature. The midfielder has a €30m (£27m) release clause in his contract, which makes him cheaper than most top young midfielders around at the moment.
The catch is that the player himself doesn’t currently want to leave Roma. He’s happy where he is, and he may well turn down a transfer even if a team did activate his release clause.
In a way, that’s actually good news for Arsenal, considering Unai Emery has publicly stated the club don’t plan to spend money on transfer fees in the January window. If Pellegrini wants to stay with Roma for now, that gives the Gunners a chance to prepare an offer this summer, at which point they’ll have the money for a £27m deal.
Pellegrini recently suffered a biceps femoris muscle injury, keeping him out for most of December. Besides that, he’s having a good season. He has two goals and six assists in 15 appearances, and four of those goal contributions came in the Champions League group stage.
The midfielder is excellent at creating chances and at executing his defensive duties, so he could be just the kind of midfielder Emery is looking for. We’ll see in the summer.