With Leandro Paredes and Sebastián Driussi already through the door, everything in place for Emiliano Rigoni to join them and a couple more Argentinians linked, Zenit St. Petersburg are close to sealing the €16 million capture of Olympique Lyonnais defender Emanuel Mammana.
Roberto Mancini’s side continued their 100% start to the Russian season on Sunday with victory over Tosno and the Italian coach confirmed that Mammana has already arrived to finalise the deal that French media reported some days ago.
Zenit are rumoured to be paying Lyon €16 million for the 21-year-old, who only joined from River Plate one year ago for around €7.5 million.
Mammana’s progression in France led to Jorge Sampaoli naming the versatile defender in his recent Argentina squad, after the youngster made his international debut under Alejandro Sabella in 2014 when he was still yet to feature for the River first team.
Since even before that Argentina debut, Mammana has been tipped for greatness thanks to his role in River’s youth sides and certainly the youngster has so fulfilled expectation at each step-up in level.
An elegant, ball-playing central defender, who can also slot in at full-back, Mammana has demonstrated the leadership and mental toughness that is so often lacking in young players but was perhaps instilled in the defender at an early age from dealing with the death of both parents.
Should Mammana complete his transfer to join Mancini’s Argentinian revolution, the defender will complete the spine which Paredes and Driussi have already partially formed. Both have impressed immediately in Russia and although many will question Mammana’s switch there is little doubting the quality that Zenit are adding.
Despite Independiente still not agreeing a deal, Emiliano Rigoni also looks set to join and there remains links to Colón defender Germán Conti and Talleres playmaker Emanuel Reynoso.