Juan Manuel Iturbe injury may force Roma into late transfer business

Roma will have to do without Juan Manuel Iturbe for the next six weeks due to an injury which may force the club into a last-minute transfer on Monday.

Iturbe, 21, damaged ligaments in both his knee and his ankle in the Giallorossi's 1-1 draw with Empoli on Saturday, and although he will not need surgery, he is not going to be able to feature for his side during a key stage of the season.

Roma face Serie A leaders Juventus in just a month's time with the forward set to miss that game, as well as clashes with Cagliari, Parma, Hellas Verona and Chievo Verona.

"Iturbe underwent tests this morning that revealed a distortive trauma to his right knee, with damage to the lateral collateral ligament," read a statement on Roma's official website. "Iturbe also suffered a strain to his right ankle and potential ligament damage. The player has already started treatment on the injury."

Iturbe added on Twitter: "It's tough, but it's the reality. Now I just have to work hard to come back even stronger."

It is already the third enforced break this season for the Argentine and one which may prompt a last-ditch move in the transfer market for Roma.

Having allowed Mattia Destro to join AC Milan on loan, the Giallorossi now find themselves short of options in attack.

They signed Victor Ibarbo on loan from Cagliari at the weekend, but may now look to strengthen their attack further, especially since Gervinho and new signing Seydou Doumbia are still at the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast.

Antonio Cassano is a free agent and could be a low-cost option to plug a gap until the end of the season. He played for Roma 118 times between 2001 and 2006, scoring 39 goals.

A deal with the 32-year-old would not have to be concluded on Monday, however, since he could join after the transfer deadline due to being a free agent.