AS Roma sporting director Monchi has admitted his admiration for Barcelona wing-back Aleix Vidal after earlier this week the player's agent revealed initial talks with the Serie A side over the transfer of the Spanish wing-back.
Vidal, 28, has been tipped to leave the Nou Camp before the end of the current transfer window, having failed to make the impact expected under both Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde since his arrival from Sevilla in 2015.
Barcelona have already got rid of Arda Turan, Rafinha Alcantara and Javier Mascherano this month but they are still said to be keen on parting ways with Vidal and Gerard Deulofeu to balance their books following the arrival of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool and Yerry Mina from Palmeiras.
Reports in Spain last week claimed that Vidal was close to return to Sevilla in a loan deal which included an option for the Andalucian side to buy him in the summer for around €8m (£7m, $9.8m).
But the move fell through with Barcelona demanding guarantees that Sevilla will sign Vidal on permanent basis in the summer – and the Andalucian side only keen on including that option if they qualify for the Champions League.
It was said at the time that Vidal had already agreed personal terms to move back to the Sanchez Pizjuan and was ready to snub other proposal to remain in La Liga.
However, earlier this week Vidal's agent Graziano Battistini said that the player could consider a move to Roma after revealing an initial approach from the Italian giants.
"Roma are Roma and Vidal would be willing to take an eventual offer from Roma into serious consideration," Battistini told romanews.eu.
"Contact with Monchi has continued and we are in the initial stages of what could become negotiations. We're not yet in serious talks, but if the Roma sporting director really wants him, we're ready to listen."
Vidal, nevertheless, knows Monchi well from his time at Sevilla as the current Roma sporting director was the one who signed him for the Andalucians in 2014 when he was in Almeria.
And Monchi himself has now refused to deny his admiration for the Spanish wing-back after confirming that he is working to bring some new players in to bolster Eusebio Di Francesco's squad before the end of the transfer window.
"I need to work a lot to win the fans over and what I've done already doesn't count for anything as I'm working on making this Roma side even better. [Vidal] is a lad who I had at Sevilla and he's a great player, but he is owned by Barcelona," Monchi told Mediaset.
"We are working on [making some signings], but nobody has left us yet. There is a week left before the end of the transfer window and were working on finding something which could improve the squad."
Sport has claimed that Barcelona won't sell Vidal on the cheap and would even be ready to hold on to him until the end of the season if they do not receive a suitable offer before the end of the month.
Roma may have soon fresh money to spend and fulfil the demands of the Catalan side amid their ongoing negotiations with Chelsea over the transfers of both left-back Emerson Palmieri and striker Edin Dzeko.