With just a few days left in the transfer window, an entire summer’s worth of maneuvering and rumour is coming to a head.
Roma have been in the headlines plenty what with Mehdi Benatia’s protracted departure saga, whilst a big money move for Juan Iturbe and the capture of Ashley Cole also turned heads.
One storyline that remains unresolved, however, is the speculation surrounding Mattia Destro’s future. The 23-year-old striker has emerged as a hot commodity in the past few months.
After hitting 13 goals in 20 Serie A appearances last term - curtailed by injury - Wolfsburg and Tottenham Hotspur both stepped up with an eye on securing his services.
But neither club could succeed in prying him loose. Now Chelsea are being heavily linked with Destro as Diego Costa has picked up an injury, whilst Arsenal are also said to have entered the fray as Olivier Giroud faces a lengthy spell on the treatment table.
By all accounts, the primary issue for interested clubs is that the Italian wants to remain at the Stadio Olimpico. Beyond this, coach Rudi Garcia is believed to see him as ‘untransferable’.
And according to Vocegiallorossa, the Italy international will most likely be going nowhere: ‘The number 22 seems destined to remain in the capital.
‘Chelsea is a possibility that is still alive, although a weak one. In the last hours there was also talk of interest from Arsenal, an absolutely inconsistent track.
‘As of today, Mattia Destro will be the Roma striker for this season.’
Meanwhile, Roma president James Pallotta expressed absolute certainty after Thursday’s Champions League draw that the ex-Inter man won’t be sold by next Monday.
President James Pallotta: "We've received a lot of offers for Destro, but we're not going to sell him. 100%"— Roma Press (@ASRomaPress) August 28, 2014
Pallotta confirmed that many offers have come in for the Italian - €25 million is figure most commonly associated with Destro - but the Giallorossi aren’t interested.
Of course, every player has his price. However, Roma’s insistence on keeping Destro indicates it would take an offer substantially higher than €25 million to force them to reconsider.
As only days remain before the transfer window slams shut, Chelsea - and Arsenal, if their interest is indeed genuine - seem best advised to look elsewhere for cover up front.
The conditions simply don’t seem right to convince Destro and Roma to part ways, a situation exacerbated by the time crunch of deadline day’s fast approach.
Would Destro be a good signing for Chelsea or Arsenal?