While speaking on the Loaded Mag YouTube channel, Ben Jacobs has claimed Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe likes Nicolo Zaniolo.
Howe has been very keen to stress the point of Financial Fair Play as he continues to face questions about Newcastle’s potential transfer business this month amid their push for a spot inside the top four.
The Magpies are reportedly keen on signing a new midfielder amid their lack of options and injuries, but they could soon have to move for a new striker amid talk of Chris Wood going to Nottingham Forest.
One player who could help out Newcastle in both the centre of midfield and further forward is Roma’s Zaniolo, who has been linked with a Premier League switch by Rome-based outlet Voce Giallorossa (via Sport Witness), with the Magpies mentioned as potential suitors.
Jacobs, who used to live next door to Zaniolo, has revealed that despite his obvious injury woes in recent times, Howe is still a big fan of the versatile ace.
He said: “I actually used to live next door to him when I was working for Roma in the Trigoria area, which is on the outskirts of Rome. He’s a great character and a very good footballer as well, who could easily be developed into a versatile player.
Would Zaniolo be good for Newcastle?
“We know that Eddie Howe likes Zaniolo, we also, by the way, know that Tottenham have been tracking him for a while.”
TIF Thoughts on Howe’s admiration towards Zaniolo…
It’s quite interesting to hear the insight from Jacobs on someone who will have got to know quite well during his time in Italy and to find out he’s a great character, which will be a must if anyone is to arrive at Newcastle this month.
Howe has clearly created a very happy and impressive dressing room dynamic at Newcastle, which was shown during their post-match celebrations after getting through to the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Last summer, Tottenham Hotspur were indeed credited with an interest in the midfielder, who has been labelled as a ‘lethal playmaker‘, but a £44m price tag, according to Il Tempo (via Sport Witness) put them off, which is no surprise given his poor injury record and rather underwhelming goal return which stands at just 24 across five years in Italy.
That may raise red flags for Howe and his scouting department, but whether they feel he would be worth the gamble this month remains to be seen.