Exclusive – Premier League clubs including Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are keeping tabs on Atalanta midfielder Marten de Roon, with a view to bringing the Dutchman back to English football from Serie A.
De Roon previously spent the 2016/17 in the Premier League with Middlesbrough, joining the north east club from Atalanta. But he swiftly returned to his former club just 11 months later following Boro’s relegation back to the Championship.
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The 29-year-old has since on gone on to build a reputation as a Champions League calibre midfielder thanks to Atalanta’s development into one of Italy and Europe’s top sides.
De Roon has caught the attention of Premier League clubs since Atalanta’s journey last season to the Champions League semi-finals, with Manchester City considering a move for him ahead of this season had Ilkay Gundogan moved on – the German stayed put in the end.
90min has learned that while City are still interested in De Roon, they wouldn’t consider an approach until the summer. However, others have joined the race and could make an offer sooner.
That is particularly the case where Tottenham are concerned, with manager Jose Mourinho keen on investing in a new midfielder that would give his squad an extra boost in the title race over the second half of the campaign.
De Roon obviously comes with the benefit of having prior experience of the Premier League, while Mourinho has actually publicly praised the player in the past.
“This kid De Roon is phenomenal, his work-rate is phenomenal,” Mourinho remarked back in 2017 after a game in which his Manchester United team had just played against Middlesbrough.
90min has been told by a source that De Roon himself is keen on a move back to England, despite interest from Serie A leaders AC Milan, as he feels he has unfinished business in the Premier League. He had only one season with Boro and didn’t get to show his best form.
Atalanta, meanwhile, accept that any offers on the table from Premier League clubs will be impossible for them to match financially, even though they rate De Roon very highly and would be disappointed to see him leave Bergamo for a second time.