Stephan El Shaarawy announced that he was close to returning to Roma in January in a bid to gain a place in Italy’s Euro 2020 squad.

El Shaarawy, who left Roma last year for Shanghai Shenhua, was heavily linked to a return but no move was completed. The attacker of a25-time Italy international said he was prepared to return with interest from two Series A clubs, including Roma.

On Sunday during an Instagram Live chat, El Shaarawy told Fabio Cannavaro that there was the chance of going back to Italy. I had talked to the club before the virus broke out saying that I had to play to secure a place in the European Championship. Having already had great consideration from Italy coach Roberto Mancini following my move to China, I was prepared to come back to play regularly, but nothing was done afterward. Two teams had been in touch. One of them was Roma.

Originally the 27-year-old had said he was too young to travel to China until he had a heart transition.

He began his career with Genoa but only managed four appearances for the club before making his loan mark with Padova where he scored nine goals in 29 games.

That was enough to trigger a move to AC Milan in 2011 where he scored twenty-one goals in 82 appearances before loan spells with Monaco and then Roma which ended up getting permanent.

El Shaarawy was healthy enough to play for Egypt but in August 2012, he opted to link up with Italy at the Under-17 level before making his senior international debut in England’s 2-1 friendly loss.

During his third start, he scored his first goal for his country against France and has scored four times during his 25 outings so far.

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