AS Roma have been looking for a flexible defender, someone who can play in central defence and also as a fullback, which made the links to Tottenham’s Federico Fazio strange, given that he can’t do that.

Roma’s priorities have changed, maybe because other targets, including Manchester United’s Darmian and Liverpool’s Sakho, were simply too difficult, and too expensive to sign.

Fazio is on his way to Rome on loan, with the chance for Roma to make that a permanent transfer. Tottenham had been looking for a straight permanent deal this summer, but Espanyol’s willingness to pay virtually nothing for either a loan or straight transfer, has probably helped lay the groundwork for Roma.

The club’s manager Luciano Spalletti is quoted by Calciomercato as saying: “We follow Fazio and we would like to complete the purchase even if it is not official.

“He has important characteristics, has won the Europa League. In England he did not play continuously, he has experience, is a sound player, is very strong in the head. We are curious to see him at work continuously.”

Calciomercato add that Roma are also looking for another central defender, this one flexible. If they don’t sell Kostas Manolas then Fazio may have to reacquaint himself with the bench.