AS Roma are still celebrating their UEFA European Conference League victory, their first title in 14 years and their first European title in five decades.
That has not stopped them from planning for the next season which will see them compete in the UEFA Europa League under Jose Mourinho, who has won Europe’s second-tier title on two occasions with FC Porto – when it was still called UEFA Cup – and Manchester United a season before his sack.
The club are preparing to lose Nicolo Zaniolo who is set for a move to Italian giants Juventus bar any last-minute interference. They could also lose Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and have also sent Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles back to his parent club following the expiration of his loan contract.
Jose Mourinho is busy in the market with the club’s board and has finally identified a player with whom he believes he can strengthen Roma’s place in the Serie A.
Mourinho’s main priority is a midfielder and he has been linked with a number of them this season.
Following the exit of Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic from Manchester United at the end of the season, Mourinho has made moves to bring his former charge to the Stadio Olimpico in the summer. However, interest from Juventus could see him miss out on the midfielder.
Another option is Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, but the Swiss midfielder is becoming important to the club and is likely to see his contract out before thinking of a transfer away.
The Giallorossi have now identified Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz, who plies his trade with Aston Villa in the Premier League just like Mourinho’s two other main targets.
The 24-year-old Brazilian is the club’s resident holding midfielder but manager Steven Gerrard has stated plainly that he does not see him in that role. This has led to the signing of French midfielder Boubacar Kamara from French Ligue 1 club Olympique de Marseille who will fill that role the way Gerrard likes it.
However, with the talents of John McGinn, Emiliano Buendia and Philippe Coutinho in the further midfield positions, Luiz could see his playing time diminish. The midfielder is open to a move as a result and it is understood that Mourinho has earmarked him for a possible transfer.
Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Aston Villa are also open to selling Luiz and will listen to offers in the range of €30 million to €35 million. It remains to be seen, however, if the Giallorossi are willing to pay that much for the Brazilian.