Di Francesco challenges Iturbe as Defrel signs

Roma head coach Eusebio Di Francesco has issued a warning to forward Juan Iturbe after signing Gregoire Defrel from domestic rivals Sassuolo on Thursday.

Iturbe has struggled to live up his  €24.5 million price-tag since arriving at Stadio Olimpico from Verona in 2014.

The Paraguay international spent the last two seasons on loan at Bournemouth and Torino respectively but failed to rediscover the form that made him one of Serie A's hottest properties.

Following the arrival of Frenchman Defrel, who scored 16 goals in 38 games in all competitions for the Neroverdi last term, Di Francesco admitted it's time for Iturbe to step up.

"For Iturbe, he's come back to us and I'm still evaluating him," Di Francesco told reporters after the pre-season draw with Paris Saint-Germain.

"Iturbe has only been with me for three days, he can do a lot more and he needs to make better use of the pace that he has."

Meanwhile, the Giallorossi disclosed the details of his probable replacement: "The French forward, 26, joins on an initial loan deal for a fee of €5 million – with an obligation to make the transfer permanent for €15m should certain sporting targets be met.

"The agreement also includes performance-related payments, worth up to an additional €3m, dependent on achievements on the part of both the player and club."

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