Manchester City may have identified their next midfield general with Sky Italia reporting that the club sent scouts to watch Roma youngster Lorenzo Pellegrini during their 3-0 win over Hellas Verona on September 16.
The 21-year-old won his first cap for Italy in May after representing the Azzurri at youth level, and he is considered one of Serie A’s finest prospects, despite not yet being a guaranteed starter for Roma.
The player is said to have the mentality and style of play that Pep Guardiola admires in a young prospect, which has led to City dispatching scouts to watch him. There have been reports going all the way back to February of interest from the Etihad in the former Sassuolo player.
Manchester City and Chelsea are among the clubs known to be scouting Sassuolo midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini (20). [Corriere dello Sport] pic.twitter.com/12cFLUYHBh
— City Watch (@City_Watch) February 23, 2017
Pellegrini has two assists in his last two appearances for Roma, against Qarabag FK in the UEFA Champions League and AC Milan in Serie A. With an average pass success rate of 87.6% across the two high-level competitions, it is clear that he has technical qualities that Guardiola could develop.
For now, Man City and Pep are only observing Pellegrini, but with the player having a reasonable release clause of €25million (£22.2million), Sky Italia believes that City could make a formal approach in the coming months if he continues to impress their talent-spotters.
The Blues have a good relationship with Roma and their sporting director Monchi. Edin Džeko was loaned then sold to I Giallorossi in 2015 and after Monchi arrived during the summer, Aleksandar Kolarov also moved to the Stadio Olimpico.
City also did a number of deals with Monchi at his previous club Sevilla, including the acquisitions of Álvaro Negredo and Jesús Navas, plus the loan of Samir Nasri to the La Liga side, and if an approach is made for Lorenzo Pellegrini these relationships could be helpful.
Watch young Italian midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini in action: