Tottenham Hotspur are still actively pursuing a move for Nicolo Zaniolo…
That’s according to CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs, who delivered an update on the situation to Twitter this week.
“Spurs still very much pursuing Nicolo Zaniolo, who is open to a move,” he said.
“Outgoings the priority but talks with Roma could see a player go the other way. Milan have cooled on Japhet Tanganga for now. Jose Mourinho likes him. One to watch.”
He then added: “With Zaniolo, Spurs believe Roma’s £50m price tag is £10m too high. It’s based on Zaniolo’s clear potential but his form was patchy last season.
“Further talks [are] expected next week. Spurs in no rush as outgoings remain the priority.”
The Lilywhites are on the lookout for a new creative midfielder, and it’s easy to see why. They have lacked this sort of presence ever since the departure of Christian Erisken, who left Hotspur Way for Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan in January 2020.
The Dane’s replacements – Giovani Lo Celso (eight goals, six assists) and Tanguy Ndombele (ten goals, nine assists) – have failed to step up to fill his void as both now appear to be available for a permanent exit this summer transfer window.
However, Conte will now have to look elsewhere, which is why Zaniolo has emerged as a solid candidate as revealed by Jacobs, who recently lauded the Roma star as a “frightening talent” when fit.
Last season, the Serie A caught a glimpse of what the Italy international can do, having bounced back from two ACL injuries. He provided former Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho with eight goals and nine assists across 42 appearances, including the match-winner in the Europa Conference League final.
Zaniolo also ranks inside the top 11% of all his positional peers across Europe for through balls (0.32 per 90), which is more than what Eriksen managed during his stint at Brentford last season. He also managed more touches in the opposition box, too (5.53 vs 1.34 per 90).
£50m may be an excessive amount to pay, especially considering the north Londoners have already wielded a £60m investment in Richarlison, who isn’t expected to be in the starting XI but in the hunt for a new playmaking piece, Zaniolo could be worth every penny.
Sporting director Fabio Paratici must either pay up or work out a favourable deal with the Serie A side in the coming weeks, with deadline day only just around the corner.