AS Roma’s Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic is edging towards the exit door at the Stadio Olimpico.
Pjanic, 24, is reportedly ready to leave the Italian capital this summer with Liverpool a frontrunner to swoop for the talented ball-playing central midfielder.
[ RELATED: Ronaldo could face fine, ban ]
Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport claim that Liverpool made a late bid for Pjanic in January and that the Bosnian midfield is “unhappy” despite signing an extension until 2018 last summer when the likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain were keeping tabs on him.
[ RELATED: Messi earned $1.4 million per week in 2014 ]
The diminutive midfield has only scored three teams in 37 appearances for Roma in 2014-15 in a slight down year for the creative midfielder. The report claims that if Roma does not make the Champions League — Rudi Garcia’s side is currently in second in Serie A but are being chased hard by Lazio, Sampdoria, Napoli and Fiorentina for the final two UCL spots — then Pjanic will move on.
So, does Liverpool need him? Pjanic is certainly a Brendan Rodgers type player. Good on the ball, low center of gravity and able to dictate the tempo of the match from midfield, imagine a more attack-minded Lucas Leiva or Joe Allen and boom, you have Pjanic.
With Lucas’ contract situation still not sorted out and Allen having his ups and downs at Anfield, perhaps Pjanic’s proven ability in the Champions League and the fact that at the age of 24 he already has over 200 first team appearances and has played 56 times for Bosnia, will convince Rodgers to splash the cash this summer.
Pjanic will likely cost upwards of $25 million but with a huge hole left in Liverpool’s midfield following the impending departure of skipper Steven Gerrard this summer, the Bosnian could be the man tasked with leading the Reds’ midfield, post-Gerrard.
There is however one small problem. What if Liverpool does not qualify for the Champions League? Claims that Pjanic wants to leave Roma if they do not qualify for the UCL would make no sense if he does move to Liverpool as they currently sit five points out of the top four in the Premier League with eight games to go. Let’s cross that bridge if and when we come to it…