Transfer: Roma emerges as frontrunner in race for Mauro Icardi; agreement for Rugani close

Serie A outfit AS Roma are closing in on the signing of exiled Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi with a deal for Juventus center back Daniele Rugani also believed to be close. In the case of the former, I Giallorossi is battling with the likes of Napoli and Juventus in other to secure the service of the Argentina attacker.

Icardi's days as a Nerazzurri are all but over after being banished from the first team by new head coach Antonio Conte. The former Chelsea manager has already replaced the 26-year-old old forward by signing Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku.

Having made his intentions of staying Italy clear, Icardi's search for a new home ahead of the upcoming season is yet to be concluded although a host of top Serie A clubs are reportedly keen on adding him to their projects. Nevertheless, the search is apparently nearing its end with AS Roma intensifying their pursuit of the controversial striker.

According to Sky Italia's Gianluca DiMarzio, while Napoli and Juventus aims to offload players in order to be able to afford the Inter Milan striker, I Giallorossi is trying to convince him to consider a switch to Rome. Apparently, the idea of Paulo Fonseca's side missing on Champions League qualification for this season does not seem appealing to the player but there is optimism that a compromise could be reached.

Regarding talks with his parent club Inter Milan, Roma is open to offer Edin Dzeko as part of the deal for Icardi. However, the Nerazzurri could potentially asked them to pay between €55 to €60 million to compensate the difference in valuations.

In an unrelated development, Paulo Fonseca's side has made huge stride in its pursuit of Juventus defender Daniele Rugani. The departure of Kostas Manolas to Napoli this summer left a huge gap in the defense of the Giallorossi and as per Italian journalist Alfredo Pedullà, the void will be filled in the coming days with the signing of the Italian defender.

The report claims that the 25-year-old Italian centre back has already said "yes" to a move to Rome and a meeting to straighten out the final details has been scheduled for Tuesday. The player will be initially acquired on a €5 million loan deal while Roma will hold the obligation to buy him for €25 million when the season ends.

Rugani was initially tipped for a switch to Arsenal but the transfer fell apart after the Gunners failed to meet Juventus' valuation of the Italian defender. Instead, Unai Emery's secured a sensational Deadline Day signing of Chelsea's David Luiz.

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