Fabio Paratici was a busy man throughout the summer transfer window as he brought in eight players to bolster Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur squad.
The likes of Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic, and Clement Lenglet all came in, whilst Destiny Udogie was also signed before being loaned back to Udinese for the season.
However, they could have added more to their squad as they were touted as being keen on a deal for an attacking midfielder who can also play out wide. The club reportedly wanted to sign Italian international Nicolo Zaniolo and the door could now be open for them to revisit that interest in January.
It has been reported that Roma are unwilling to match the attacking midfielder’s wage demands. They will not offer anything higher than €3.5m-per-season (£3m-per-season) and that is said to be ‘significantly’ lower than what he wants in order to sign a new contract.
His current deal expires in the summer of 2024 and this means that the Italian club could be in a difficult position ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, as they would risk losing him for nothing if they do not cash in on him in one of the next two transfer windows.
The £80k-per-week Brazilian attacker has not produced enough in the final third in recent seasons to warrant a regular place in the side and Zaniolo could come in as his replacement.
Spurs reportedly blocked loan offers from other Premier League clubs in the summer but bringing a player in to take his spot in the squad could allow Conte to finally sanction an exit for the former PSG man.
The 30-year-old has scored five goals and produced 10 assists in his last 66 Premier League matches since the start of the 2020/21 campaign, whilst he managed one goal and two assists in five matches in Europe last season.
Zaniolo, meanwhile, has chipped in with eight goals and seven assists in his last 56 Serie A outings. The gem, who was dubbed a “frightening talent” by journalist Ben Jacobs, also caught the eye in Europe with five goals and three assists in 10 Europa Conference League outings in 2021/22.
These statistics suggest that the Italian, who is also seven years younger than the Spurs man, could offer a greater goal threat in the final third, whilst also having the potential to improve and grow with more experience, instead of being in the twilight of his career.
Both players are capable of playing out wide on the right or through the middle as a striker or as a number 10 and this means that Zaniolo can be a versatile option for Conte to use in a multitude of roles, taking up Moura’s place in the side.
This would then allow the manager to sanction an exit for the Brazil international without worrying about the depth of his squad, whilst bringing in a player who could be a backup to start with before breaking into the XI in the future if he can develop his skills.