Chelsea's reported hopes of landing Roma's Miralem Pjanic have been dented as the club are "confident of keeping" him in the eternal city.
That's according to the Daily Star's Alex Harris, who shares quotes from Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini on their hopes of Pjanic and team-mate Radja Nainggolan—both of whom have been linked to Chelsea—staying put this summer:
The possibility is there [for both players to remain at the club]. It will also depend on them. We can try to keep them to make the team competitive in the coming years and I think we will succeed. There is a lot of movement in the transfer market, so there are ways we can improve.
Roma president James Pallotta has also vowed the pair won't be sold, per Gianluca Di Marzio's David Amoyal:
Central midfield should be a priority for the Blues this summer after a campaign in which both Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic largely failed to live up to their usual standard, while the unconvincing John Obi Mikel remains the most senior alternative.
Pjanic would make an outstanding capture and ease the reliance on Fabregas as the primary creative force in the centre.
The architect of the Giallorossi's attacking play, Pjanic racked up 12 goals and 13 assists in Serie A and the UEFA Champions League this season. Here's a look at them:
According to Squawka, the 26-year-old created 80 chances in 33 league appearances and also demonstrated his reading of the game with 49 interceptions.
A trip to FourFourTwo's Stats Zone (h/t Bleacher Report UK's Adam Digby) illustrates the kind of performance he can produce, while writer Aadam Ahmed showered him with considerable praise:
Pjanic is evidently one of Roma's top stars, so any suitors hoping to acquire his signature this summer could have a difficult time.
Amoyal believes there is still hope, though:
Indeed, according to Football Italia, the Bosnian has a release clause of €38 million, which, while significant, is hardly beyond Chelsea's price range, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility.
I don’t know how many games I’ve played since I came, probably around 40, which is not bad in one and a half years.
That’s why I came here, to play games, and hopefully I’ll keep playing next season—maybe here.
If I could get the deal [to move to Boro permanently] I would really think about it. Yes, why not!
The versatile defender, who can play at centre-back or right-back, was used intermittently this season, but he impressed in his 25 Championship outings. According to Squawka, he won 44 headed duels in that time as well as making 56 interceptions and 98 clearances.
Staying at Chelsea next season does not look overly likely, though, particularly in the wake of John Terry's new deal at the club, per BBC Sport.
With that being the case, it would not be at all surprising if Boro were to recruit Kalas this summer as they bid to stay in the Premier League next season.