Alessio Cerci has opened the door to a Premier League move this winter by admitting he's ready to leave Torino in pursuit of Champions League football.
The news should prove particularly significant to Manchester United, who have struggled to find a consistent wing partnership this season and are in search of some re-invigoration following their worst start to a campaign for 24 years.
Speaking to Marco Conterio of Tutto Mercato Web, via talkSPORT, earlier in the week, Cerci admitted that Roma and Juventus were target destinations of his, but the mention of Champions League football will alert Europe's other giants:
I feel ready for the Champions League—I have matured.
I think it’s the right time to make the leap. I want to get there, even before the World Cup. Roma? It’s no secret to go back to where I grew up. Now it's a dream, but also it's a goal to go to Juventus.
The Red Devils haven't had an illustrious history of successful Italian players, but Cerci could be the star who promises to break that mould at Old Trafford.
According to AboutManUtd, Carlo Sartori ranks as the most successful Italian to have played for the club, making 56 appearances in the late 1960s and early 1970s, while Giuseppe Rossi and Federico Macheda have also featured at the Theatre of Dreams more recently.
It emerged in early November that United were increasing their interest in Cerci's talents, Charles Perrin of the Express reporting that the English giants were scouting his services.
However, matters are complicated by Arsenal's pre-existing interest in the star, although one would argue that Arsene Wenger's need of the player's skill set isn't quite as great.
As talkSPORT's Jerrad Peters stated earlier this summer, Torino bought out the other half of the forward's playing rights in June:
This season, per Transfermarkt, the left-sided playmaker has nine goals and seven assists in 16 Serie A starts, averaging a direct hand in one goal per game.
The 26-year-old has shown great consistency, too, never going more than two games without recording a goal or an assist this term, while David Moyes has struggled to find even one wide asset capable of establishing such frequent contribution.
Between Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Nani, Adnan Januzaj, Shinji Kagawa, Danny Welbeck and Wilfried Zaha, the Scot has tried a plethora of options down the flanks.
And it's 18-year-old Januzaj, appearing in his first season as a senior United player, who has arguably been the most reliable figure out wide, showing precisely how disappointing the current situation at that position is.
Given that Cerci has already stated how eager he is to reach the next level of European involvement, a show of interest from United could help push through a deal with Torino, who wouldn't be in a position to demand an inordinate amount for their star's services.
Like United, The Bull are seventh in their respective lead, with Cerci sticking out as one of the side's chief creative forces thus far in the campaign.
The maestro is currently Torino's top scorer and has seen his goal count rise as a result of shining as Torino's attacking gem, but a move to the English top flight could see his priorities shift back to providing.
This would not only benefit the player himself, but also the wealth of attacking options already at Old Trafford who are in need of some improved ammunition this term if they're to have any hope of retaining their league title.
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