Manchester United and Everton are ready to challenge Arsenal for the signing of Torino star Alessio Cerci.
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Three Premier League clubs are set to fight it out for the signing of Alessio Cerci from Serie A side Torino, according to reports emanating from the Express today.
The 26 year-old, who was a member of Cesare Prandelli’s Italy squad for the World Cup but struggled to nail down a first team place, enjoyed a wonderful 2013/14 campaign for Torino in Serie A as they qualified for the Europa League via the back door.
Torino finished below Parma in the league table after Cerci saw an injury time penalty against Fiorentina on the final day saved to deny them a place in the Europa League, a moment that almost brought him to tears.
The Turin club and Cerci had a happy ending, however, when UEFA refused to grant Parma a licence for European competition due to the financial situation at the club, allowing Torino into the competition despite Cerci’s miss.
Despite this, the former AS Roma man may not want his last kick in the maroon shirt of Torino to be such a heart breaking moment, but a move to the Premier League could appeal to Cerci if a club can agree a fee with his protective employers.
Torino do not want to lose Cerci, however, as with top scorer Ciro Immobile already having left for Borussia Dortmund it would see them have the heart of their impressive attack ripped out in one summer.
Despite this, Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton are all reported to be keeping tabs on Cerci’s situation, with a bid of around £15 million believed to be necessary for the Serie A club to consider selling him.
AS Roma, where Cerci started his career before moving on to Fiorentina and then Torino, are also reported to be interested in bringing the winger back to his boyhood club.
Cerci would certainly be a fine signing for any Premier League club, with the 26 year-old able to bring a mixture of technical ability and raw determination to the pitch.
A skillful dribbler who is also a clinical finisher, Cerci operates in a role somewhere between a wide player and a central forward, making him difficult to pick up for opposition defences and ideally suited to the fluid systems expected to be employed by all three potential Premier League suitors next season.
Whether Arsenal would be willing to splash out on on a winger considering the quality that they have in that position is yet to be seen, but they could use some of the funds from the mooted deal taking Santi Cazorla to Atletico Madrid to make a serious bid for Cerci.