Photos via imagephotoagency.it & Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images Europe
According to Paul Doyle at The Guardian, Manchester City may tempt Roma in to selling their two most valuable young footballers in Marquinhos and Erik Lamela.
This is the problem City face when they signed a relatively unproven Matija Nastasić  for £12 million (plus Stefan Savić—not that he was worth much) from Fiorentina.
Roma's mindset will be: "If you signed Matija when he was just an up-and-coming defender, how much are you willing to pay for one of Serie A's best centre-backs?"
James Pallotta, Franco Baldini and the Roma brains trust will flick through the transfer archives and find how massive the fees were when Premier League clubs wanted a particular CB.
Rio Ferdinand (from Leeds United to Manchester United for £30 million)
Joleon Lescott (from Everton to Manchester City for £24 million)
David Luiz (from Benfica to Chelsea for £21.3 million)
Ricardo Carvalho (from Porto to Chelsea for £20 million)
Phil Jones (from Blackburn Rovers to Manchester United £16.5 million)
Lamela fights for possession, making 2.1 tackles per game—which is higher than Javi García's 1.3—but the Argentine is also one of the most exhilarating forwards in the game.
He generally starts wide right, much to the chagrin of AC Milan's Kevin Constant , who had no answers to Erik during Roma's 4-2 win.
In the 1-0 win over Juventus, Lamela's positioning indicated that he played like a deep-lying forward just behind Pablo Osvaldo.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were restricted to the flanks early in their careers, but as they became great, they were allowed more freedom to roam.
That will be the same for Erik, who has scored 11 Serie A goals this season.
The multi-million pound question is: Will Roma sell? No.
Roma supporters will be getting their torches and pitchforks out if that happens, so why would upper management want to abandon their posh lifestyles to go incognito?
Perth, Australia would be a nice place to stay low.
It would be a PR meltdown of epic proportions.
There's only one scenario where Roma would relinquish Marquinhos and Erik Lamela to City.
To borrow a quote from Dr. King Schultz: "But if I made you an offer so ridiculous you'd be forced to consider it...who knows what could happen."
Pallotta should say to Sheikh Mansour: "£75 million plus John Guidetti, Denis Suárez and Karim Rekik."
 Nastasić has since become the only bright spot in Roberto Mancini's pathetic season. Is he better than Marquinhos? No way, José—and Mourinho would agree with that. Right now, there's a substantial gap in quality between Matija and Marquinhos.
 Kevin made the bizarre transition from okay water carrier to a good left-back—win-win for Milan, who can now start Mattia De Sciglio at right-back.