Brighton look to be in the driving seat to sign Sassuolo star Davide Fratessi in what will likely prove a club-record deal for the Seagulls.
The 23-year-old Italy midfielder, capped four times by his country, has seen his profile rise in recent times. Compared to Dele Alli (in his pomp), Fratessi has four goals from 15 Serie A appearances this season.
That form has led to speculation that a number of Premier League sides may be preparing a move to sign the midfielder. Indeed, the likes of West Ham, Manchester United and Tottenham have all had scouts make checks on the player this season.
And a report in October claimed Erik ten Hag has become attentive to his talents ahead of a possible January raid.
However, the strongest interest has possibly come from Spurs. Both Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to the Italian market. Indeed, they have already raided Serie A on more than one occasion since taking charge.
And there was a widespread belief that Conte, who is chasing a new midfielder, could look to bring in Fratessi.
However, reports now claim Conte is instead angling towards the capture of Weston McKennie. The Juventus star has impressed at the World Cup and would seemingly prove an upgrade on Yves Bissouma, who has struggled since his arrival.
And with Manchester United’s priorities also lying elsewhere in January, it seems the Seagulls are unopposed in the chase.
The player is well known to recently-appointed Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi from his time at the Serie A club.
And De Zerbi is pushing to make his former charge his first signing since taking charge at the AMEX.
Brighton learn Davide Fratessi asking price
According to Tuttomercatoweb, Brighton are seemingly in the clear to sign the talented midfielder.
He is also wanted by Roma boss Jose Mourinho, but they are unable to match the player’s asking price. Indeed, per the report, they are seeking a fee in the region of £25.8m (€30m) for their star man.
And that is a fee the south-coast club are ready to meet with Fratessi tipped to arrive in what would prove a club-record fee.
Brighton’s current transfer record stands at the £21m paid to RB Salzburg for Enock Mwepu in summer 2021.
The Zambian made 27 appearances for the club, scoring three times including a memorable goal against Arsenal.
However, he was forced to retire in October after a series of tests revealed a hereditary heart condition.
Fratessi, it would seem, is the man identified to come into their midfield.
The Seagulls have an excellent track record with midfield additions in recent years. Indeed, Bissouma, Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister are among their more recent success stories.
And they will hope Fratessi proves the next one with a deal to bring him to Brighton seemingly gathering pace.