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Roma are following Nacho – Spalletti

Real Madrid defender Nacho is one of the players being targeted by Roma coach Luciano Spalletti as he looks to bolster his defence.

Nacho made just 16 starts for Madrid in 2015-16 and Spalletti is keen to bring the 26-year-old to Stadio Olimpico as a replacement for Maicon – who is seeking a move back to Brazil.

A cruciate knee ligament rupture is likely to keep centre-back Antonio Rudiger out of Spalletti's plans until December, and the Roma coach told Corriere dello Sport: "Because of injuries and departures of players, we need to make signings in defence.

"Nacho we like, the club is following him."

Roma are still smarting from the departure of midfielder Miralem Pjanic to Juventus, and Spalletti admitted his loss would be sorely felt.

"What can you do?" he added. "When clauses in a contract are set and people take advantage there is nothing to say.

"Football is open and everyone can act as suits them. He was important for us and will be for Juventus."

Spalletti is seeking replacements for Pjanic, and said Spanish midfielder Borja Valero of Fiorentina is in his sights.

He said: "Borja I like very much. He could play for Roma or Bayern Munich, but Fiorentina do not want to let him leave.

"It seems to be an impossible operation for us."