Arsenal and Tottenham are interested in Roma rising star Ebrima Darboe, according to a report in Italy.
Darboe only made his senior debut earlier this month but looks to have a bright future. He has quickly added to his first appearance and has been trusted against the likes of Manchester United, Inter Milan and Lazio. The impression he has made has led to plenty of anticipation about his future.
The midfielder originally comes from the Gambia but moved to Italy without his parents at the age of 14. Now, five years later, he is looking to progress as a professional footballer as his remarkable story continues.
He is still on a youth contract with Roma, which puts them under pressure to tie him down. They are at risk of losing him to other clubs unless they sort out his future.
Indeed, Corriere Dello Sport claims that Arsenal and Spurs are among the clubs keeping tabs on Darboe’s development.
The Gunners are named as the main candidates for his signature, as they want to add young prospects to their ranks. But their London rivals Tottenham are also keen.
If the latter were to make a move, it would represent an interesting subplot. Ex-Spurs boss Jose Mourinho will take over at Roma this summer and has been linked with several players from his former club. But there is a chance that Tottenham could try to take one of his new players as well.
It is not made clear whether Arsenal or Spurs would offer a first-team role to Darboe straight away. He is still a teenager and only has five appearances under his belt.
But he has impressed in all of them and therefore his admirers will be following him closely.
However, they could be warded away if Roma manage to sign him to a senior contract. They are expected to have talks about that in the summer.
The report adds that Roma deem Darboe unsellable at this stage. Only a huge offer could tempt them, so there could be hope for the London rivals yet.
Arsenal yet to bid for Berge
Another midfielder on Arsenal’s wishlist with more experience is Sheffield United’s Sander Berge.
There were claims earlier this week that the Gunners had offered €20m for the midfielder following the Blades’ relegation.
However, according to interim boss Paul Heckingbottom, who is in the running to succeed Chris Wilder on a permanent basis, there has not been an official bid for Berge.
He said: “No, no offers. We know how things work.
“If there is anything happening for our players it’s bubbling away behind the scenes until windows open and things can possibly happen, but it is all paper talk.
“Most of the questions you get asked about possible targets never ever comes to fruition.
“Ninety-odd percent of it will never surface. At the minute it is all just rumour and speculation. We’ve had no bids for our players.”