Nottingham Forest target Alessandro Buongiorno made his debut for Italy this weekend but is playing down reports of a summer move to the Premier League.
The 24-year-old’s maiden international cap, picked up during Sunday’s 3-2 victory over the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League third-place play off, could be – according for one former Torino star – the first of many.
“Alessandro Buongiorno is one of the Torino defenders who impressed me the most,” Giacomo Ferri tells Gazzetta dello Sport. “From what he has shown this season, I predict him a bright Azzurri future.
“I’m talking about a defender wanted by Napoli. Buongiorno rules the left flank and pushes forward thanks to a good touch on the ball. He’s a modern defender. And he is also at ease as a central defender.”
Nottingham Forest like Italy ace Alessandro Buongiorno
As Ferri himself alludes too, Nottingham Forest could face competition from the newly-crowned Serie A champions as they look to lure Buongiorno away from his hometown club. There is also interest from AFC Bournemouth, according to Calciomercato.
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But the fact that Buongiorno was born and raised in Turin – rising through the ranks before forcing his way into the first-team picture – makes the task facing Forest that little bit harder. Especially with the 6ft 4ins colossus seemingly ready to commit his future to the Granata for at least another season.
Torino, as far as Buongiorno is concerned, is not so much an employer as it is a way of life.
A new deal may be on it’s way
“We are talking about a (contract) renewal with the club,” he tells La Stampa. “If I think about my future, I tell myself Torino must become a point of arrival and not (a club where you) pass by.
“It will become like this if we raise the bar of ambitions that each of us has, myself included.”
Moussa Niakhate and Scott McKenna are currently Nottingham Forest’s first-choice options for the left-sided centre-half role, although injuries restricted the defensive duo to just 14 and 19 Premier League starts respectively in 2022/23.
There is also the future of Jonathan Panzo to consider. Panzo shone on loan at play-off runners-up Coventry City last term, but now has interest from Rangers.
Rumour rating: 3/10 – There are reasons to believe that Forest’s interest is legit; Steve Cooper’s side struggled in the left-sided centre-half role last term. But Buongiorno appears keen to extend his stay at a club which holds a special place in his heart.