Tottenham learn January deal is on for £22m Serie A forward in ‘most complicated’ situation with current club

Nicolo Zaniolo and Bryan Cristante of Roma Credit: Alamy
Nicolo Zaniolo and Bryan Cristante of Roma Credit: Alamy

Tottenham Hotspur are leading the race to sign Nicolo Zaniolo from Roma and a deal could even take place this month, according to a reporter.

Zaniolo has been linked with Tottenham on and off for quite some time. Fabio Paratici is aware of what the player has achieved in Serie A across his career so far. Indeed, the Italy international has made 128 appearances for Roma, scoring 24 goals.

Perhaps most significantly, he scored the winner in the Europa Conference League final last season. It represented the culmination of his revival after missing the entirety of the previous season through a second ACL injury.

But in truth, Zaniolo has still never quite been the same player that he was before his injury issues in the eyes of some Italian observers. And now, he is approaching a critical juncture in his career.

His contract with Roma is only due to last until 2024. There have been some doubts as to whether he will earn an extension.

Now, a report from Alfredo Pedulla has explained why a January transfer – potentially to Tottenham – is looking likely.

According to the Italian journalist, Zaniolo is currently in the “most complicated” moment of his Roma career. He was booed by the club’s fans in their Coppa Italia win over Genoa in midweek – despite Jose Mourinho protecting him – before missing the weekend’s league match against Fiorentina through illness.

And in terms of his future, Pedulla is indicating that there are no talks surrounding a contract renewal. Therefore, it is becoming a real possibility that he could change clubs, even in January.

His most likely destination would be the Premier League. Specifically, Tottenham are currently the favourites to secure his services.

Tottenham in battle to bring Italian to Premier League

Spurs seem to have begun making enquiries towards the potential signing of Zaniolo, who can play as an attacking midfielder, winger or striker.

Paratici has frequently turned to the Italian market to reinforce the Tottenham squad. After the likes of Cristian Romero, Dejan Kulusevski, Rodrigo Bentancur and Ivan Perisic, Zaniolo could be the next in line.

However, Tottenham are facing competition from elsewhere in England. According to the report by Pedulla, there is also interest from West Ham and Nottingham Forest. A fourth contender could be Newcastle.

Hence, a January transfer window is far from being out of the question. In fact, Zaniolo could be gettable for a transfer fee between €25million and €30million, which would equate to somewhere in the region of £22.2million to £26.6million.

That kind of price should be within reach for Tottenham, who have also been linked with Leandro Trossard of Brighton in similar territory.

Therefore, the north London club will be weighing up their options. But it seems the opportunity may be falling into place for them to give Zaniolo his first experience of Premier League football.

Zaniolo or Trossard – who should Tottenham choose?

It seems unlikely that Spurs will need both Zaniolo and Trossard. Both are good players worth investing in, and aren’t exactly alike, but would have a similar role in Antonio Conte’s system.

The better deal, in fairness, may well be for Trossard. The Brighton man could also be available this month due to a falling out with Roberto De Zerbi.

His current club are still standing in the way of a deal. But with his contract up towards the same time as Zaniolo’s, he should be attainable too.

And Trossard has refined his goalscoring capabilities this season, whereas Zaniolo hasn’t. The Belgian has scored seven goals from 17 games this season; Zaniolo has managed just two from 17.

Of course, Spurs can already rely on Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Richarlison as their main goal-getters. But it will help to have different players to turn to when it comes to finding the back of the net.

Zaniolo could be successful in the Premier League, since he has strength and power. Yet he has not really excelled in front of goal, despite often operating in a strike partnership under Mourinho, alongside someone like Tammy Abraham.

If Tottenham can get Trossard, then, they should prioritise him. However, Zaniolo is a valid alternative. Even if the Tottenham route doesn’t pay off for him, he may be a welcome addition to any of his other English suitors.

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