Serie A regulation offers Manchester United new hope for Turkish wonderkid

AS Roma are hot on Salih Ucan’s tail, but may see their interest thwarted by Serie A regulations.

The 20-year-old is viewed as one of Europe’s brightest youngsters after starring at the U-20 World Cup last summer and definitively breaking into the Fenerbahce first team this season.

Scouts from some of Europe’s top clubs have taken notice of the creative midfielder, who won his maiden cap for Turkey in November, including both Manchester clubs and Portuguese giants Benfica.

United in particular have been thought to be keeping a keen eye on Ucan in view of bringing him to Old Trafford in an effort to revitalise a midfield in need of reconstruction after a dour campaign.

But last week agent Omer Koray Uzun revealed that David Moyes’ men were yet to table a concrete offer for his client, Roma having submitted a failed formal bid to Fenerbahce in January.

Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio followed up on the representative’s admission in reporting on Friday that the Giallorossi remain in pursuit of Ucan as a target for the coming summer.

Director of sport Walter Sabatini flew to Istanbul a fortnight ago according to Di Marzio, the long term loss of Kevin Strootman having only increased Roma’s resolve to see the Turk land at the Stadio Olimpico.

Despite the Italian capital outfit’s seemingly considerable advantage in negotiations over United, however, hope remains for Mancunians in a regulatory detail of the operation.

Serie A clubs are permitted to register only two non-EU players at a time, and as Roma’s quota is currently full roster moves would need to be made to accommodate Ucan’s purchase.

The rule presents a complication for Rudi Garcia’s side as the club could be forced to abandon its reportedly advanced chase for Ucan, offering a second chance to United - as well as City or Benfica for that matter - to jump to the front of the queue in the race for the coveted midfield talent.

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