Italian giants Roma can boost their chances of domestic glory this season if they beat Juventus to the signature of Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic before the transfer window shuts in less than two weeks.
The Serbian, who signed on at the Etihad Stadium from Fiorentina two years ago, has fallen down the pecking order under Manuel Pellegrini and is now surplus to requirements as the Chilean sets about plotting another title assault.
Juventus remain firm favourites for his signature, but denying them such a talented asset could have a major part to play in deciding the destination of the Serie A title this forthcoming season.
After arriving in the summer of 2012, Nastasic took the Premier League by storm and formed a solid partnership with Belgian international Vincent Kompany at the heart of City’s defence.
However, after relinquishing the Premier League title to fierce rivals Manchester United the departure of Roberto Mancini has seen his career come to an abrupt halt.
Martin Demichelis was signed by Pellegrini last summer and despite a series of often erratic displays, was preferred to the Serb over the course of the campaign as City wrestled the title back and added the Capital One Cup to their growing trophy cabinet.
The 21-year-old is now closer to the exit door than ever, with the Premier League champions having made a blockbuster signing in the form of Eliaquim Mangala who many now expect to be Kompany’s partner for the long-term.
Roma are in need of a central defender with uncertainty still surrounding the future of Mehdi Benatia, who has been linked with English duo Manchester United and Chelsea in addition to Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich.
Ashley Cole has been added having fallen out of favour under Jose Mourinho towards the latter stages of last season, but the Serie A giants still need reinforcements if they are to have any hope of winning a first league title since 2001.
His tender age means Nastasic has time on his side to etch himself into the history books and repay any faith shown by manager Rudi Garcia if Benatia does indeed depart as widely expected.
Calm and composed with a good eye for a tackle, he would prove a capable asset and could even bolster their chances of glory on the European front as they prepare to return to the Champions League.
Nastasic does seem set to leave City, and whilst Roma’s need for a centre-back is greatest, Juventus still possess the best chance of landing the Serbian international.
Arsenal are another interested party, but despite the pair enjoying a fruitful relationship in the transfer market in recent years, Pellegrini would be unlikely to sanction a sale that could jepoardise his side’s own chances of glory.
Benatia will be missed, but signing such a perfect replacement would ensure that not too many tears are shed over at the Stadio Olympico.