AS Roma have reportedly emerged as favourites to sign Barcelona right-back Aleix Vidal with both clubs said to have held talks about a proposed move before the end of the ongoing January transfer window.
The Catalan giants are desperate to offload the defender, who has failed to fulfill his potential since his move from Sevilla in 2015. Vidal was brought in as a long-term replacement for Dani Alves, but failed to fill the Brazilian's boots in the last two seasons. He has also proven ineffective when deployed as a right-winger this season.
Sergi Roberto, meanwhile, has established himself as the first choice right-back under Ernesto Valverde, and with the defender extending his deal at Barcelona, the Camp Nou outfit is keen to offload the 28-year-old Spanish right-back.
Sevilla are interested in re-signing Vidal but have been unable to agree a deal with the current La Liga leaders.
The Andalusian club are said to be offering to take him on a loan spell until the end of the campaign before making the transfer permanent for a fee of around €8m (£7m, $9.8m), which is well below Barcelona's valuation. The Catalan club are now said to have given up on Sevilla and are looking at other suitors for the defender.
According to Spanish daily Marca, Roma have made enquiries regarding the right-back and remain keen to sign him before the end of the transfer window on 31 January. Vidal will become the second Barcelona player to move to Serie A this month if the transfer goes through after Rafinha completed a loan move to Inter Milan earlier this week.
It is unclear about the fee that Roma are willing to offer, but it is certainly going to be lower than the Blaugrana's €60m valuation. The report claims that Barcelona are keen to make a profit on the defender, which means the figure will have to be more than the €18m they paid Sevilla back in 2015.
If the move goes through, it will be the Catalan capital club's third defender transfer following the arrival of Yerry Mina from Palmeiras and the departure of Javier Mascherano to Hebei Fortune in China.