Arsenal have made contact with Roma's Lorenzo Pellegrini, though the Gunners may still face a battle with the likes of Tottenham, Inter and Milan for the midfielder's signature.
Pellegrini has been a central figure for Roma over the past two seasons after rejoining the club from Serie A rivals Sassuolo, and has gone on to make over 70 appearances for I Giallorossi. In that time, he's also managed to make 10 appearances for the Italian senior side.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, as per the Mirror, Arsenal are closely monitoring Pellegrini and the Gunners have already fielded a call to the midfielder's agent in an attempt to put a deal in motion.
However, Roma aren't prepared to let of go of Pellegrini that easily and are said to be preparing to offer the 22-year-old a new deal to remove his current £27m release clause.
That fee would be payable in two equal instalments, which would suit Arsenal - who will be operating on a shoe-string budget this summer after failing to qualify for the Champions League. If reports are correct, Unai Emery will have just £45m to play with, which could prove to be severely detrimental.
Roma also missed out on Champions League qualification, but they are hoping that they will be able to convince Pellegrini to stay put by offering him the vice captain role for the 2019/20 campaign.
Both Arsenal and Roma may have their work cut out if the lure of Champions League football proves to be tempting, as Tottenham and Inter are also keeping a close eye on Pellegrini - as well as Milan, who are expected to have a much higher budget than Arsenal.