Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been given encouragement in his quest to sign Alberto Aquilani from Serie A team AS Roma after reports in Italy have claimed that the Italian side maybe forced to sell the midfielder in January due to mounting debts at the Stadio Olimpico.
Wenger has been tracking Aquilani for over a year and is understood to want the Italian to replace Mathieu Flamini, who left the Emirates Stadium for AC Milan in the summer. The Giallorossi had previously claimed that Aquilini would not be leaving Roma, with Chelsea, Manchester City and Serie A giants Juventus also linked with the Italian International.
24-year-old Aquilani has yet to sign a new deal with Roma, although his current contract does not end until 2010, with the Gunners reportedly ready to take advantage of the financial problems at Roma and make an offer for the midfielder in January.
Aquilani is a boyhood Roma fan and turned down the chance to join Chelsea when he was just 16, making his debut for the Roma first-team in 2003 and helping them achieve second place in Serie A last year, but now looks set for a move away from La Magica in January, with Arsenal in the Premier League the likely destination.