Journalist Ben Jacobs believes Tottenham Hotspur transfer target Nicolo Zaniolo is unlikely to join the club this summer.
Tottenham have had a rather busy summer transfer window as Antonio Conte has clearly been backed by Daniel Levy with six new recruits, while Destiny Udogie’s arrival at the club now looks inevitable and further reinforcements could be around the corner.
This is because reports have suggested that a move for Zaniolo may well be on the cards as he’s someone of interest to Spurs, Fabio Paratici and Conte, which shouldn’t be a big surprise given his age and ability to play in several different positions.
However, speaking on The Done Deal Show, Jacobs believes that any deal doesn’t look close and may be unlikely this summer due to former Spurs manager Jose Mourinho.
He said: “I do think that Tottenham will move before the window shuts for a player, loosely speaking, of Zaniolo’s current abilities, and whether it’s him or another creative-minded player, or another versatile player that can be that assister from deeper or further forwards – as I say, Zaniolo can be converted into all of these possibilities. Whether it’s him may all come down to Mourinho.
“I think at a club-to-club level, Tottenham can agree a fee, and I think it will be around €50m, maybe even €5m more or so, but Mourinho at the moment isn’t exactly saying ‘get rid of him’.
Do you want Spurs to sign Zaniolo?
“In January, I think he probably was, but right now, I don’t sense from people that I speak to, close to the player and at Roma as well – and I know Roma very, very well – I don’t think that they are 100% sold on sanctioning this, and that is why it’s problematic from Tottenham’s perspective at the moment.”
TIF Thoughts on links to Zaniolo…
While the age profile and versatility will be very attractive for Spurs and Conte as they look to bolster their squad, which will allow them to fight competitively on four fronts this season, Zaniolo boasts a very poor injury record.
Despite being just 23, Zaniolo has already suffered two long-term injuries during his time at Roma, which should be a major red flag for Spurs’ recruitment team, as well as his record in the final third.
Zaniolo, who featured 42 times across all competitions last season, was only able to register 17 goal involvements, which is not a record that suggests he’s worth the €50m (£42.3m) price that Jacobs cites.