Man Utd, Chelsea watching rise of €30m Serie A defensive powerhouse

Date published: Friday 12th March 2021 5:28 - Samuel Bannister

Manchester United and Chelsea are both keeping tabs on Roma defender Gianluca Mancini, according to reports in Italy.

United and Chelsea have both been scouring the market for defensive reinforcements in recent months. United want to find an ideal partner for Harry Maguire, while Chelsea are searching for a long-term successor to Thiago Silva.

A number of names have been linked with both clubs, and the latest to emerge as a potential target for either of them is Mancini.

The Italy international is currently enjoying a fine season in the Roman capital. Last season, he was Roma’s main partner to a familiar face to Premier League and Man Utd fans in particular, Chris Smalling.

This term, Smalling has not played as often due to injuries – meaning Mancini has stepped up. He has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in Serie A.

A strong defender who is a threat in both boxes, his only downfall has been a large number of bookings. Physically, though, he has the characteristics to play in England one day.

His form saw him linked with a move to the Premier League last month. Everton were rumoured to be interested.

However, two of the biggest clubs in England have now seemingly muscled into contention. According to Calciomercato, Mancini is admired by United and Chelsea.

They would face a battle to convince Roma into selling. The club from the Italian capital have sacrificed many of their top players in recent years, with Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker and Antonio Rudiger just some of those to have moved to England.

Roma do not want to repeat that with Mancini, instead viewing him as a potential future leader. The player himself is also content where he is.

But a big bid from United or Chelsea could change the situation. It is suggested that any offer would have to be at least worth €30m.

Only time will tell if United or Chelsea – or indeed Everton, who remain in the hunt – would be willing to go above such a fee.

United, Chelsea also battling for keeper

Gianluigi Donnarumma Milan keeper

Mancini is not the only Serie A star attracting interest from both United and Chelsea.

According to Friday’s papers, the two clubs have also both been in contact with agent Mino Raiola about his client Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The Italy goalkeeper is in the final few months of his contract with AC Milan. The chance to sign him for free is an appealing one.

Donnarumma has already built up years of experience after debuting at the age of 16. He has remained first-choice practically ever since.

Now, it appears he is open to leaving Milan for the first time in his career, with the Premier League a potential destination.

READ MOREMan Utd make direct contact over deal for £50m-rated centre-back

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