Torino president Urbano Cairo says the club have no intention of flogging off Alessio Cerci in January.
The Italian international has enjoyed a renaissance since arriving at the Stadio Olimpico in August 2012, reunited with his former boss at Pisa, Giampiero Ventura.
His current employers purchased the remaining 50% of his rights from Fiorentina in June for €3.8 million, bringing his total price-tag to just €6.4 million.
Production from the pacy forward has only increased this term under Torino’s full ownership, as he’s struck nine goals and bagged seven assists in 17 Serie A appearances this term.
Seemingly a move to Old Trafford would be ideal for the 26-year old – once compared to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry – for both parties.
And the AS Roma youth product’s contention that his ultimate ambition is to play Champions League football in recent days only further fuelled speculation that a move to the Premier League is imminent.
However, Cairo has now taken a step to quash reports that his side’s star man will soon be donning the colours of the English champions.
“There is the desire to not touch a team that is functioning,” he told Tuttosport.
“The objective is to add a few players without expecting too much.
“Alessio Cerci and [fellow forward] Ciro Immobile? Nobody has asked me for any of my players up to this point in time. Having a team that scores so many goals is very pleasing.”
Torino sit in seventh in the Italian top flight at present – far outpacing expectations set prior to the campaign – and aren’t inclined to break up a side achieving such success quite yet.
Should he continue to shine down the stretch, his value will only increase. Add in the potential for fireworks from the forward at the World Cup this summer, and a payday dwarfing the one received for Angelo Ogbonna’s departure to Juventus could be on the cards for Il Toro.
United will be wary of breaking the bank to get their way in January, given Marouane Fellaini’s fortunes at Old Trafford, with Cairo’s desire to keep Cerci for the back half of the term likely meaning only a massive offer would cause them to make an immediate sale.
For the time being it looks as if ‘Henry from Valmontone’ will be staying put, as ideal conditions for Torino would be to bide their time until the summer rolls around.
And over in Manchester, the focus should remain on continuity to make sure they finish in the top four. The massive financial windfall that would come with it, and the presence of Champions League football itself, would fulfill two requirements needed to net Cerci’s services.
image: © ell-r-brown