Arsenal made an approach to Roma star Alessandro Florenzi's agent to ask if the versatile Italian international was interested in a Premier League switch last week, according to Sky Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
Florenzi was hugely impressive last season in Serie A and narrowly missed out on a place in Cesare Prandelli's Azzurri squad for the World Cup, despite being a key part of a Giallorossi revival marshalled so brilliantly by Rudi Garcia.
The 23-year-old clearly impressed Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who reportedly instructed Arsenal chiefs to sound out the playmaker's representative Alessandro Lucci over the chance of a summer switch.
Wenger knocked back
Arsenal may hold a long-term interest in the versatile forward, who can play in any advanced attacking position but often operates off the right flank, but Roma are currently not prepared to entertain any offers and as a result Lucci swiftly knocked the Premier League giants back.
Lucci is thought to have informed the Gunners that Roma see Florenzi as a long-term part of their plan to be a Champions League regular with Garcia at the helm, a view enhanced by his form over the last 12 months.
Florenzi scored six times last season and contributed nine assists in all competitions, showing the type of temperament and technical qualities that Wenger looks for in an Arsenal player, but on this occasion it looks like the Gunners will have to look elsewhere for fresh attacking alternatives.
The waiting game
News of a Roma rejection on Florenzi is endemic of the frustrating summer game of cat and mouse Wenger is well versed in, as he bids to use a whopping £100m transfer budget to turn Arsenal into title contenders that are in it for the long haul next season.
Wenger has been linked with a whole host of new additions including Mario Balotelli, Mario Mandzukic, Lars Bender and Arturo Vidal, but Florenzi represented a different kind of reinforcement that shows Arsenal are essentially looking for quality reinforcements in all areas.
Arsenal fans may be desperate for Wenger to move fast and prove he means business in the transfer market, but the Gunners boss is always at pains to highlight that he targets quality rather than quantity in terms of squad additions.
Wenger waited until deadline day to wrap up a £42.4m deal for Mesut Ozil last summer, on this evidence expect more similar late dealings from Arsenal as they play a patient waiting game to give Olivier Giroud and co. much needed support for next season.
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