Bolstered by comments from the player’s agent in the Italian press, rumour in England has Arsenal and Liverpool battling for the signature of winger Juan Iturbe. The 21-year-old rising star only made the switch to Roma last summer in a €22M move, but if his agent is to be believed, he could be ready to move on following a disappointing year in Serie A.
Iturbe, once Argentina’s own next Lionel Messi, impressed greatly as a young star for Hellas Verona and earned a pricy move to Roma last summer, but he has so far only managed a single goal in 19 league appearances for his new club. He has three goals and three assists in 29 appearances in all competitions, and that return—with a goal every 530 minutes and a sub-5% strike rate—is, simply put, disappointing.
Injuries have played a role in Iturbe’s struggles to find his form at Roma, with the player having missed more than a month of action this season, but even accounting for them it’s fair to say he’s fallen well short of expectation. As such, it’s hardly surprising to hear talk of him perhaps moving on this summer, though reports suggest Roma will only look to sell if they can break even on the player.
"He may stay at Roma next year," agent Gustavo Mascardi told Radio Crc, "but there are two teams in England who want him and would be willing to pay the fee Roma did for him. Iturbe is a champion who has had a difficult season due to injury. It was not understood by the medical staff and that did not give him confidence. Will he leave? We’ll see what Irube and Roma decide."
While there is no confirmation of which English clubs those two are, most reports name Arsenal and Liverpool as the interested Premier League parties, and while Iturbe remains a promising prospect, an approximately £18M fee would hardly be a bargain for a player with injury concerns coming off such a disappointing season.