While Davide Frattesi has dominated the Roma transfer headlines over the last month, it will reportedly require some additional convincing for Sassuolo to give up the Italian international mid-season. So, even though the Roman wants to return home and Tiago Pinto will do his due diligence to make a move happen, there are no guarantees that Roma's number one target to upgrade José Mourinho's midfield will arrive in January.
Despite Sassuolo playing hardball, Pinto won't rest on his laurels and is reportedly trying to secure other options to reinforce the midfled. The most likely alternative looks to be French midfielder Houssem Aouar. And if the reports from Radio Radio are accurate, then the Giallrossi already have an agreement for Aouar, whose Lyon contract expires in June.
The 24-year-old has been connected with Roma since last June, including during the World Cup break when Corriere dello Sport connected him with Roma and Milan. However, any move for Aouar would require Roma to negotiate with the French side since he's under contract for another six months. Despite once being valued as high as €50 million, with his deal set to expire, any transfer fee should be minimal.
Radio, Radio isn't generally the most sound source of transfer rumors, so this report should be taken with a grain of salt, but given the previous links, there is likely some truth to these negotiations.
Nevertheless, with the market just reopening, Pinto is likely to make a hard push for Frattesi, but if Sassuolo rebuffs him, he will likely turn to Aouar. We'll see if anything comes out of this rumor, but we'll keep an eye on this story.