Roma have made contact with Rodrigo De Paul’s entourage in a late attempt to hijack his move to Leeds United, according to reports.
De Paul has emerged as a top target for Leeds in recent weeks. The Udinese midfielder would likely be a club-record addition at Elland Road.
And he made no secret of his desire to join Leeds when responding to a tweet about the potential move – before deleting his Twitter account.
The ball is in Leeds’ court, then, with Udinese willing to let the player leave if the Premier League side pay €40m.
However, while De Paul may have his heart set on a move to Elland Road, another contender for his signature has emerged.
According to Tele Radio Stereo (via Football Italia), Roma have been in touch with his representatives. With De Paul open to staying in Italy, they could offer him a step up from his current surroundings – as well as Europa League football.
Roma are the second Italian team to express an interest in De Paul recently, with Fiorentina also considering a bid.
However, Leeds remain the first choice option for the Argentina international. What’s more, Roma would only be able to sign De Paul if they sold a midfielder first.
De Paul agent speaks out
That was confirmed by his agent, Leandro Pereiro, who told Inside Futbol in the wake of the news: “We have to see if they can release a midfielder.”
Of the Leeds option, Pereiro simply stated: “We are evaluating some options.”
De Paul has made 146 appearances for Udinese since joining them in 2016. Last season, playing in a more central role than before, he scored seven goals and added six assists in Serie A.
The 26-year-old remains under contract until 2024 after signing a new deal last October.