Roma boss Jose Mourinho has identified Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka as a perfect defensive reinforcement, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Closely monitored by Barcelona in recent years, the Frenchman has developed into one of the most consistent defenders in the Bundesliga during his five-year spell at the Deutsche Bank Park.
Runaway La Liga leaders are in advanced talks with Athletic Bilbao stalwart Inigo Martinez over a summer switch to Camp Nou, but they want more.
Having kept a watchful eye on Ndicka’s development for years, the Blaugrana have been ready to pounce on the 23-year-old, only to find out about Roma’s involvement in the race.
Mourinho’s deal at the Stadio Olimpico expires at the end of the 2023/24 season, and it seems he has several requests to sign a contract extension in the Italian capital.
After helping the Giallorossi win the Europa Conference League and establish themselves as genuine top-four contenders in Serie A, the ‘Special One’ wants to raise the bar.
Revamping his defensive options is among Mourinho’s priorities after Marash Kumbulla and Roger Ibanez failed to impress the former Tottenham Hotspur manager.
Ndicka’s rise to stardom in the Bundesliga has caught the eye of the Roma boss, who has mainly relied on Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini this term.
The Frenchman’s contractual situation with Frankfurt makes him an even more attractive solution for the Giallorossi.
The ex-Auxerre man will be a free agent at the end of the season after refusing to commit to a new deal, which is likely to induce a transfer tug-of-war.
AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain are other candidates to have set their sights on Ndicka.
Despite their well-publicised financial struggle, Barcelona could still flex their economic muscle to anticipate stiff competition for the youngster’s services, given he’ll be available on a free transfer.
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