Marco Soprano is considered to be one of Genoa's most promising young talents and he has attracted the attention of Premier League side Everton, according to the latest reports.
The gifted centre-back has won plaudits in Italy for his technical ability and speed in reading the game and is frequently tipped for the top by pundits.
And it would appear that the 17-year-old's reputation has extended to England where Everton are said to be weighing up the pros and cons of making an offer in the winter transfer window.
Roma look likely to lose Argentine defender Nicolas Burdisso, who has submitted a transfer request, and the Giallorossi are said to see Dutchman Heitinga as the ideal replacement.
Soprano could be brought in to fill the gap and may be seen as a longer-term replacement, possibly initially being sent out on loan to gain experience.
Meanwhile, Everton's defensive worries look set to ease considerably with the news that Leighton Baines is edging closer to agreeing a new deal at the club.
Many had expected Manchester United to swoop for the England international left-back during January, but that is looking increasingly unlikely.