Roma looked to have pulled off one of the most astute deals of the summer transfer window when they landed long-serving Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons.
But best laid plans often go awry and the Frenchman, who was supposedly seen as the long-term replacement for veteran Daniele De Rossi, has started just six times in Serie A this season.
And his relative lack of action at the Stadio Olimpico has prompted ambitious interest from Brighton and Hove Albion, Le Ten Sport reports. It is understood that The Seagulls approached Gonalons and offered him the chance to move to the Premier League, although the seven-time international has turned down the approach for now as he wants to make a success of his time in Rome.
Brighton made a number of impressive signings in the off-season, grabbing the likes of Matt Ryan and Pascal Gross for bargain fees. Gonalons, however, would perhaps be the most eye-catching of the lot due to his vast European experience and an excellent eight-year spell at the heart of Lyon’s midfield.
Yet if Gonalons did accept that things are just not going to work at Roma, Brighton would surely not be the only Premier League team interested.
West Ham United have been on the lookout for a new midfielder all month but, as it stands, it looks as if David Moyes’ interest in Jonjo Shelvey, Harry Arter, Joe Allen and co will come to nothing. They also missed out on Liverpool’s Marko Grujic, who joined Cardiff City on loan.
Gonalons, however, would likely come cheaper than the aforementioned trio and, while he has never played in England before, surely a back catalogue of excellent displays in the Champions League and Europa League makes him a standout candidate to add extra quality to Moyes' midfield.
The Frenchman is not only an excellent distributor but an intelligent ball winner too who starts attacks from deep.
So the Hammers, as well as Brighton, should make sure they check in with Gonalons’ camp before the month is out.