Chelsea “met” with Roma sporting director Tiago Pinto in London on Friday to discuss a potential deal for defender Roger Ibanez, according to Romagiallorossa.it.
The Italian website claims that the Blues, Tottenham and West Ham all had talks about signing the Brazilian international but there are “no concrete offers” on the table for the player at the moment.
Roma are said to be demanding between €30m (£25.6m) and €35m (£30m) for Ibanez but no team is reportedly willing to match the centre-back’s asking price.
It is believed that further discussions will be held this week, with the Giallorossi expected to lower their valuation to see if any clubs are willing to make a bid.
Romagiallorossa suggests one solution is a potential swap deal involving Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Roma would be interested in the midfielder and he would be one of the players that Chelsea are willing to offload this summer.
Ibanez has been praised by Jose Mourinho
The 24-year-old is a player who is highly rated by his manager, former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who described him as an extremely resilient defender last year:
“He’s one who always shows up. When we win, we all win together. When we lose, we all lose together. For me, he is untouchable. There is nothing more to be said.”
Chelsea don’t really need another centre-half
Despite the rumours about Ibanez, though, it is hard to see the London club signing another centre-back. They already have six in the first-team squad and, even if Kalidou Koulibaly does depart for Saudi Arabia, they still have Levi Colwill to return to the fold after his loan spell at Brighton.
It does appear as if Ibanez has been offered to the Blues, rather than it being the case that Mauricio Pochettino’s side are actively looking to recruit him.