Italy international Stephan El Shaarawy is finalising his return to Serie A club Roma after leaving Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, coach Paulo Fonseca confirmed on Saturday.
The 28-year-old forward left Rome in July 2019 for the Chinese side for a reported 16 million euros ($19.5 million). He scored four goals in 14 matches for the club.
“El Shaarawy is a player who knows Italian football well which is important,” said Fonseca of the former AC Milan and Genoa player who has 28 caps for Italy.
“He’ll be able to help us immediately and I think he has useful features for us.
“He wanted to return to Roma and this is very important for a coach,” added Fonseca of the player who scored 40 goals for the club between 2016 and 2019.
However, uncertainty remains on the future of Roma captain Edin Dzeko amid a fall-out with Fonseca, just two days before the transfer window shuts.
“I understand the curiosity, but it’s a topic I don’t want to talk about now. Let’s see next week,” added Fonseca, before third-placed Roma’s league match against Hellas Verona on Sunday.
Dzeko reportedly clashed with Fonseca after the team’s chaotic 4-3 Italian Cup exit to Spezia.
The capital side finished the game with nine men and were later handed a 3-0 defeat for making six substitutions instead of the five allowed.