Club president confirms Roma signing of Arsenal linked Argentine

Leandro Paredes will join AS Roma following months of speculation on his future.

The 19-year-old has been repeatedly compared with Juan Roman Riquelme – duly titled ‘The Heir’ in reference to the former Barcelona and Villareal man.

Manchester City and Arsenal sent scouts to watch the attacking midfielder at Boca Juniors in the past 18 months, with Juventus, AC Milan and Inter all interested as well.

Yet the Italian capital had emerged as his most likely destination towards the end of 2013 with the Giallorossi keen to add further young talent to their ranks.

Paredes shares his agent with Erik Lamela – who Roma purchased from Boca’s rivals River Plate – and sold to Tottenham Hotspur over the summer for a lavish £30 million.

And this existing relationship with representative Pablo Sabbag is understood to have aided the process of netting another promising Argentine.

The teenager has been plagued by injuries of late – missing three months with a tear in his ankle and fracturing a bone in his right foot – but the Stadio Olimpico outfit haven’t been put off in their pursuit.

And on Monday the Gazzetta dello Sport quoted Boca Juniors president Daniel Angelici as confirming that Paredes would imminently join Rudi Garcia’s side.

“Paredes leaves tomorrow [Monday], we have authorised his departure for Italy,” he said.

“He will be on loan to Roma because he has no place here and wants to grow professionally.

“Is this a loan? Yes, so that he can recover from his last injury.”

The deal is believed to be for an 18-month loan, an initial spell which will cost Roma €250,000, with the option to purchase outright set at €4.5 million.

image: © Damien Cansse

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