Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly made a move to sign Roma midfielder, Nicolo Zaniolo, as sporting director Fabio Paratici once again looks set to turn to the Italian market for potential recruits.
According to the Daily Mail, the Lilywhites are believed to have made a bid to sign the 23-year-old on loan this month, with the Serie A giants said to be willing to sanction a temporary exit so long as the deal includes an obligation to buy.
The report adds that the north Londoners are currently working with a ‘limited budget’ hence the desire to pursue a loan agreement, with the Italy international valued at around £35m by Jose Mourinho’s side.
This follows previous speculation during the summer window which claimed that Antonio Conte’s side were interested in the 11-cap dynamo, with both the serial-winning coach and compatriot Paratici seemingly keen admirers of the playmaker.
The Tottenham hierarchy notably enjoyed great success with the signings of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski from Italian giants Juventus a year ago, with the hope being that Zaniolo can also aid in securing a top-four finish for Conte and co this time around.
Bringing in the 6 foot 3 sensation from the Giallorossi may well evoke memories of another man to have arrived at Spurs from Rome in the form of Erik Lamela, with the Argentine forward joining as part of the post-Gareth Bale signings back in 2013.
The current Sevilla man went on to spend the next eight years in English football, eventually racking up 37 goals and 47 assists in 257 games in all competitions in that time.
That lengthy stint saw the 5 foot 11 maestro undoubtedly produce notable moments of magic but also flatter to deceive in equal measure, with his time at the club perhaps encapsulated by his derby display in March 2021, as the one-time River Plate man scored a stunning ‘rabona’, only to then somewhat sour his performance by getting sent off.
Another somewhat frustrating feature of the creative gem’s spell at N17 was his inability to stay injury-free for a consistent period, having regularly endured bouts on the treatment table over the years.
Zaniolo could follow in Lamela’s footsteps in being something of a mercurial talent for Spurs, with the towering ace having also been regularly struck down by injury in his career to date.
The former Inter Milan asset is undoubtedly a “special player” – in the words of journalist Carlo Garganese – although that has not always translated into an end product, as he has just five goals and assists to his name in 17 games this season.
As such, there could well be a feeling that Tottenham would be landing Lamela 2.0 if they are to bring Zaniolo to England before the end of the window.