Report: Manchester United Hold Talks with Lorenzo Pellegrini's Agent over Wages

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2018

FLORENCE, ITALY - NOVEMBER 03: Lorenzo Pellegrini of AS Roma in action during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and AS Roma at Stadio Artemio Franchi on November 3, 2018 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Manchester United have reportedly held talks with the agent for Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini and made it clear they are willing to double the player's salary.

According to Corriere dello Sport (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness), Pellegrini's representative has been in England and did have some discussions with the Red Devils. In those talks, the Premier League team are said to have confirmed Pellegrini's wages would "more than double" if he was to move to Old Trafford.

It's added the offer has left Pellegrini "torn" in regards to his future, as he has ambitions to become a long-term success with Roma but is also tempted by the prospect of a fresh challenge in the Premier League.

As Coast noted, Pellegrini would potentially represent a bargain acquisition, as the release clause in his current contract is €30 million (£27 million). That amount would need to be paid in two instalments by any club wishing to sign the 22-year-old.

Having honed his craft in the Roma academy and made his debut for the club when he was 18 in 2015, it's not a shock that Pellegrini has a huge affinity with the Giallorossi; he spent two years with Sassuolo before rejoining the Stadio Olimpico outfit last summer.

Upon returning to Roma, the midfielder has showcased himself to be a much more refined footballer, starting 22 times in the top flight in 2017-18; in the current season, he's been in the XI for eight of Roma's 12 league games.

In addition to Serie A, Pellegrini has also shown he can have a big influence in the UEFA Champions League:

OptaPaolo @OptaPaolo

3 - Lorenzo #Pellegrini is the first player to assist a goal in three consecutive #UCL appearances for an Italian club since Clarence Seedorf for Milan in 2007. Magnanimous. #CSKARoma

David Amoyal commented on a footballer performing well prior to the current international break:

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

Lorenzo Pellegrini & Barella go into the international break in great form, which is good since Mancini needs all the help he can get in the midfield

Pellegrini has been a valuable player for Roma this season, as he's shown he's adept at playing in a withdrawn, advanced or orthodox midfield position.

He's so influential in all of these positions because he's so good on the ball. Technically Pellegrini is excellent, meaning he can always dribble or pass his way out of trouble. In addition, his decision-making is getting better and better, something that's allowing him to become a more productive player in the final third.

United don't have a player in his mould at the moment, and as journalist Daniel Storey noted recently, their big-money midfield signing Fred is struggling:

Daniel Storey @danielstorey85

Jose Mourinho saying he had no choice but to start Marouane Fellaini and thus saved Manchester City from the "big, big trouble" of him coming on for the last 20 minutes hammers several nails into Fred's coffin. A £50m summer signing now basically unwanted.

Given his age and his talent, Pellegrini would represent excellent business at the price being quoted. If he can continue on this trajectory, he'll become one of the best midfielders in Serie A and a regular in the Italy setup too (he has nine caps).

United do have issues in midfield, with Fred and Nemanja Matic struggling for form, Ander Herrera out of contract at the end of the season and Marouane Fellaini more influential from the bench. As such, it wouldn't be a shock to see the Red Devils continue to pursue Pellegrini.