Tottenham ‘could scare Roma’ with January bid for Nicolò Zaniolo as contract renewal talks stall… while Serie A outfit boss Jose Mourinho says Italy winger has ‘great potential but a great deal to learn’
- Nicolò Zaniolo is under contract with Roma until the end of 2023-24 season
- Reports in Italy suggest talks over a new deal with Serie A outfit have stalled
- Spurs boss Antonio Conte said to be an admirer of Italy international
- Jose Mourinho said 22-year-old has ‘great deal to learn’ in terms of tactics
- Zaniolo recovered from two separate ACL injuries over the last two seasons
Tottenham are reportedly keeping tabs on Roma winger Nicolò Zaniolo after talks over a new deal with the Serie A outfit have stalled.
The Italy international’s deal with the Giallorossi expires at the end of the 2023-24 season and Roma were eager to extend the contract by a further 12 months.
However, according to Calciomercato.com, initial discussions between the club’s hierarchy and the player’s representatives have reached an impasse.
Nicolò Zaniolo is under contract with Roma through to the end of the 2023-24 season
That has put Spurs on alert, particularly as Antonio Conte and Tottenham’s managing director Fabio Paratici have long been admirers of Zaniolo.
The report added Spurs could ‘scare Roma’ with an offer that could come as early as in the January transfer window.
Juventus, Paratici’s former club, are also said to be interested in the 22-year-old, who has suffered two separate ACL injuries over the last two seasons.
For their part, Roma have no intention to sell the player, who scored his second goal of the season on Thursday, when Jose Mourinho’s men beat Zorya Luhansk 4-0 to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League.
The 22-year-old scored his second goal of the season on Thursday as Roma beat Zorya Luhansk
Former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham (right) scored twice in the Giallorossi’s 4-0 rout
The goal came just days after the relationship between Mourinho and Zaniolo was put under the spotlight for an alleged training ground argument.
According to Corriere dello Sport, the 22-year-old was unhappy at being played out of position on the left and frustrated by being benched for Roma’s last two Serie A outings.
Zaniolo has started 10 of Roma’s 13 Serie A games this season but was on the bench in the 3-2 defeat against Venezia last week and was an unused sub for the 2-0 win over Genoa over the weekend.
Speaking after Roma’s win over Zorya Luhansk, however, Mourinho attributed the decision to drop the winger to an injury issue.
Fabio Paratici (left) and Antonio Conte are both said to be admirer of the Roma winger
While Roma boss Jose Mourinho insisted Zaniolo ‘has a great deal to learn’ in terms of tactics
‘He was on the bench against Venezia because he had fitness problems and didn’t train that week,’ the three-time Premier League winner said.
‘The second time I was thinking he had never played with me in this system, so I thought Eldor Shomurodov was more accustomed to it and then Felix [Afena-Gyan] did really well.
‘As I said before the game, I don’t expect Zaniolo on his own to do things, I expect him to be part of the team and deliver. I liked the way he played and also his attitude.
‘Zaniolo has great potential, but also a great deal to learn in terms of tactics and the stability of his attitude on the field. He has these ups and downs in terms of confidence. I feel the best players keep going even when things aren’t working, must keep that trust in his talent.’