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Arsenal are reportedly in “pole position” to sign AS Roma forward Cengiz Under in January, moving ahead of Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the race for the Turkey international.
According to ForzaRoma.info (h/t Sport Witness’ Tom Coast), Roma are believed to be looking for a fee in the region of €60 million (roughly £53 million) for the tricky wide man.
Calciomercato provided more details from the ForzaRoma.info report, stating that Arsenal had a €30 million offer turned down, Bayern are contemplating a €50 million bid and Tottenham Hotspur are keeping an eye on proceedings.
Roma’s high asking price is in part because the deal to bring the 21-year-old to the Italian capital from Istanbul Basaksehir included a 20 per cent sell-on clause.
Per Turkish Football, they’re not the only club with a stake in the player, and it’s noted these latest rumours coincide with talks about a new contract with the Giallorossi:
Turkish Football @Turkish_Futbol1
Meanwhile, these latest rumours coincide with contract talks between Roma and Cengiz over increasing his wages. It’s no surprise that clubs are interested in him but he’s happy at Roma
Under is a product of the impressive Altinordu academy, which has produced a steady stream of talent in the last few years. Emre Sarigul profiled the academy for the Guardian, noting it draws inspiration from Athletic Bilbao’s cantera policy. Caglar Soyuncu and Berke Ozer, two major talents for the future, also passed through the club’s youth setup.
After one year with Basaksehir, Under joined Roma in 2017. He took his time getting settled in the Italian capital but broke through in a major way during the second half of the campaign, finishing the Serie A season with seven goals.
The left-footed winger is a fantastic finisher from just outside of the box, scoring plenty of goals similar to this one against Benevento:
His finishing ability and movement are his standout traits. The Turkish starlet is reminiscent of Juventus’ Paulo Dybala for the way he finds space in the attacking third and runs with the ball, although he prefers to work out wide.
Roma have gained a reputation as a selling club in the last few years, parting ways with stars like Alisson Becker, Radja Nainggolan and Mohamed Salah. They’re led by director Monchi, who is renowned for uncovering talent and turning massive profits on players.
The belief is the Giallorossi will sell if their asking price is met. They invested in another star winger in the summer, bringing in Justin Kluivert from Ajax, and he could be the perfect replacement for Under while Stephan El Shaarawy locks down the other wing.
Bayern, in particular, have a need for another winger after Kingsley Coman went down with yet another injury at the start of this season. Their top options Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are 34 and 35 years old, respectively, so the Germans need to get younger out wide.
Arsenal’s need is less urgent, but that may not stop them from trying to sign a special talent like Under.