Tammy Abraham will hold a crucial meeting with Roma over the next 24 hours as the Arsenal target seeks to make a decision about his Chelsea future.
Abraham watched on from the bench as Chelsea won the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night. He did so while speculation is rife about his future. Arsenal are aiming to take him across London, a move that would definitely appeal to the striker. But Jose Mourinho’s Roma are making a big push to take him to Italy.
Chances have been few and far between for Abraham since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as coach in January. Even so, he rounded out last season as their top scorer for the second year in a row. But with Romelu Lukaku completing his return to Chelsea, Abraham’s gametime will reduce even further.
He now faces a dilemma over his next step. Roma have agreed a transfer fee with Chelsea, but Abraham’s preference would be to join Arsenal, with whom he has agreed personal terms. The Blues, though, do not want to sell to a Premier League rival – particularly a London one.
Therefore, Roma have stepped up their pursuit to try and convince the player in recent hours. Their general manager, Tiago Pinto, arrived in England on Wednesday to hold various meetings. Now, on Thursday, discussions with Abraham’s entourage have taken place.
Roma have offered the 23-year-old the number nine shirt, a salary of €4.5m and a guaranteed starting spot, according to Rome-based paper Corriere Dello Sport.
The situation has not progressed much, so further talks will be required. According to Il Tempo, a newspaper well connected with the Roman club, Pinto will have another meeting with his agent on Friday. There is a growing possibility that Abraham himself will be involved in the talks.
The England striker has already been in contact with Mourinho, but is still reflecting over the proposition. As a boyhood Arsenal fan, he will be waiting to see if the Gunners make a formal offer to Chelsea.
But he won’t be able to wait too long, as Roma will move on to other targets if Abraham fails to accept their offer. He would thus risk being stuck on the bench at Chelsea, unless Arsenal can convince their rivals to sell him to them.
Arteta quiet over Tammy Abraham transfer links
Arsenal may need to offload one of their strikers before they can bid for Abraham. In that regard, they have been trying to sell Alexandre Lacazette, who is in the final year of his contract.
Coincidentally, Lacazette is one of Roma’s backup plans if they don’t get Abraham, so there could be a merry-go-round of strikers.
If the Frenchman was to head to the Italian capital, it could clear Arsenal to sign Abraham. But manager Mikel Arteta was not giving much away about their pursuit of the player at his press conference on Thursday.
“It’s been really busy,” he said of the transfer window.
“You just named a few names but that tells you how much we had to do and the position we started the window.
“We’re talking about probably the most difficult transfer market in this industry. We all have the same interest, to make this team stronger.
“We have ownership that are willing to invest in the team, that want to get the team better with bigger aims. We’re trying to find a balance because we need a financial position that is sustainable for the club.”