Manchester United scouts were present in Italy at the weekend as Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma hosted Atalanta in Serie A, according to reports. The reason for the visit wasn’t Mourinho, but instead, it was said to be to watch highly-rated defender Giorgio Scalvini amid links to a switch to Old Trafford.
Scalvini made his 21st appearance of the campaign in Gian Piero Gasperini’s starting lineup as Atalanta earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico.
Teun Koopmeiners fired the visitors ahead in the eighth minute before Paulo Dybala equalised from the penalty spot ahead of half-time.
According to HITC, United were represented among the scouts in Rome as they continued to monitor Scalvini’s development.
United are said to have been keeping tabs on the 20-year-old centre-back for more than a year, and other reports suggest their interest is advanced.
Earlier this week, French publication Les Bons Conceil Du Sports reported that the Red Devils were in advanced negotiations with Atalanta over Scalvini’s signature.
It’s claimed they are ready to activate the £44million release clause in Scalvini’s contract after monitoring his development over an extended period.
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He is one of Europe’s most highly-rated young centre-backs and has also been courted by Serie A giants AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan.
Spanish reports have linked Scalvini with Real Madrid, while United’s Premier League rivals Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in the 6ft 4in starlet.
He has quickly established himself as an important player for club and country since making his Atalanta debut as a 17-year-old in October 2021.
The Italy international has already played 75 times for the Bergamo outfit, appearing 17 times in the Serie A and four in the Europa League this season.
Scalvini has also earned seven senior international caps after Roberto Mancini handed him his debut in Italy’s 5-2 defeat to Germany in June 2022. He had represented his country from U15 to U19 level.
United are expected to prioritise a new centre-back in their first summer transfer window under Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS’ control.
Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans’ contracts expire in June, while Victor Lindelof also faces an uncertain future after the Red Devils triggered the 12-month extension in his deal.
Erik ten Hag could target two players in the position, with Lisandro Martinez needing left-sided competition alongside a new starting right-sided option.