Manchester City will listen to offers for Edin Dzeko amid reports in Italy that Roma have already agreed personal terms over a four-year deal for the Bosnia striker.
Dzeko, 29, only signed a new contract at the Etihad last summer but his future has been in doubt since City brought in Wilfried Bony from Swansea for £28million in the January transfer window.
Dzeko is known as a “supersub” in Premier League and played a vital role for Manchester City since his arrival.
City are unlikely to accept anything less than £20m for Dzeko who has scored 72 goals in 189 games for the club since arriving from Wolfsburg for £27m in January 2011.
The former Wolfsburg forward’s agent, Irfan Redzepagic, has said on several occasions that his client does not want to leave City, his Bosnia team-mate Miralem Pjanic has said Dzeko would go “running” to Roma.
And while he was pessimistic about the chances of completing a deal, Sabatini has confirmed he wants to buy the target man.
“Dzeko is not very close, but Roma are trying to get him,” Sabatini told reporters in Italy. “He’s the right man for us, but tough to get, as he’s expensive.”
Sources told ESPN FC on Friday that City will not force Dzeko out and there is respect for his achievements after he played an influential role in their 2012 and 2014 Premier League title wins.
But Dzeko only scored twice in his last 23 appearances and was an unused substitute in City’s final six games of the campaign.
He was affected by manager Manuel Pellegrini’s switch from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1, with Sergio Aguero operating alone in attack, while January signing Wilfried
Bony moved ahead of Dzeko in the pecking order.
City, who also have a full contingent of 17 non-homegrown players in their squad, will have to sell one if they are to bring in other foreigners and their summer targets include Juventus’ Paul Pogba and Wolfsburg’s Kevin De Bruyne.
City are also looking to bring Raheems Sterling and Fabian Delph to Etihad.
Dzeko might not be the only City striker heading to Italy, with Stevan Jovetic expected to return to Serie A just two years after arriving from Fiorentina for £25.8m.
Jovetic’s representatives held talks with Inter Milan on Wednesday, and he has also attracted interest from Juventus.