Transfer Talk: Three Premier League stars who may join Jose in Rome
Arsenal utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles is set to become the latest Premier League player to join Jose Mourinho’s Roma revolution.
The versatile Gunners academy graduate is expected to join fellow Englishmen Tammy Abraham and Chris Smalling at the Stadio Olimpico, with a loan agreement thought to be close.
With former Wolves stopper Rui Patricio and Manchester United misfit Henrikh Mkhitaryan also in the ranks, Mourinho’s squad already has a strong Premier League flavour.
Ahead of his side's crucial Thursday night trip to AC Milan, we consider three other England-based players that the Special One could potentially try to talk into a Serie A stint.
Mourinho is certainly making full use of his knowledge of the English game — and Jesse Lingard’s discontent at United is one of the Premier League’s worst-kept secrets.
England international Lingard, 29, was majestic during last season's loan stint with West Ham and looked primed to reinvigorate his Old Trafford career this term.
However, the attacking midfielder has found opportunities severely limited under both ex-boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and replacement Ralf Rangnick.
His departure feels inevitable as a result and a spell in the Italian capital could certainly be an attractive destination for a player keen to impress ahead of this year's World Cup in Qatar.
Mourinho worked with Lingard during his time in Manchester and the pair enjoyed a strong relationship — Lingard even admitting that he would frequently receive random video calls from the Portuguese in an interview last year.
Do not be surprised if his phone starts ringing again this month.
Another familiar face from Mourinho’s Premier League past said to be hunting out pastures new is Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.
The Frenchman became Spurs’ record signing when arriving from Lyon for a reported £55million in July 2019 but is yet to hit the heights that were expected of him in North London.
Having made just one league start under current boss Antonio Conte, 25-year-old Ndombele is open-minded about a switch and knows Roma is a destination where he would be valued by his manager.
Mourinho started Ndombele on 27 occasions in the Premier League last term and recent reports in Italy have suggested that the 58-year-old is keen on a reunion.
The only stumbling block to a potential deal is agreeing a fee, with Spurs keen to recoup at least half of their initial outlay — Roma’s preference would either be a loan deal or payments made in multiple instalments.
If raids of United and Tottenham do not come off, Mourinho could test the waters with an audacious bid for his former Chelsea charge Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Desperate to add proven quality to his midfield, the Portuguese boss actually gave Loftus-Cheek his senior debut during his second stint at Stamford Bridge back in 2014 and holds him in high regard.
Mourinho even insisted that the then 19-year-old was awarded a Premier League winner’s medal for his contribution to the Blues’ 2014-15 title win, despite only making three appearances.
Loftus-Cheek may be less keen on a move now than he would have been a few months ago having featured prominently under Thomas Tuchel this term.
However, the return of key figures in the Blues’ engine room could limit his game time once again in the new year and the prospect of playing a leading role in Rome may prove too good an offer to refuse.