Arsenal are pushing through their move to sign Alessio Romagnoli from Roma, with Arsene Wenger keen to beat out competition from AC Milan for the signature of the highly-rated defender.
Roma are reportedly struggling to convince Romagnoli to sign a new deal – his current deal anyway runs until the summer of 2018 -- with Milan showing the keenest interest in signing the centre-back so far.
Milan have already had multiple bids turned down by Roma, but with the new contract situation looking increasingly dicey, Arsenal, who will be able to offer higher wages than any of the Italian clubs, have come into the picture as well.
The Premier League side are reportedly holding talks with Roma's sporting director in view to a summer transfer for the 20-year-old, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport.
Wenger has enough cover already in the central defensive department, but such is the quality of Romagnoli, who impressed on loan at Sampdoria last season, that the Arsenal manager is loathe to miss out on the signing if he is indeed available this summer.
Milan saw their latest bid of €25million (£17.4m) turned down recently by Roma, and the Italian giants have insisted they will not be coming in with another offer.
"Our offer for Romagnoli is not modifiable," Milan general manager Adriano Galliani told ANSA. "We are not changing our offer and if Roma accept it then fine, otherwise we will evaluate other options.
"Romagnoli is an interesting player and if we can [sign him], we would be making our coach [Sinisa Mihajlovic] happy. I liked his reference to the strawberries and oysters [where Mihajlovic said strawberries should not be as expensive as oysters in reference to the amount Roma are asking for Romagnoli].
"The best oyster isn't worth €25m, and we are still talking about a lot more money."
Roma reportedly want as much as €35m (£24.4m) for the defender, and while Arsene Wenger has been a lot more open to paying big money for players, it will still be surprising if the manager goes as high as that for a 20-year-old.
Of course, Arsenal bought youngster Calum Chambers from Southampton for a fee that could rise to as much as £16m last summer, but then British players always come at a premium.
However, with Per Mertesacker turning 31 this year and Laurent Koscielny set to reach 30 in a few months, maybe Wenger is planning for the future already and sees Chambers and Romagnoli as his centre-backs for years to come.
It will still take some serious bidding and convincing, though, to force Roma to sell their player this summer.