Nicolo Zaniolo is reportedly only interested in a move to Tottenham, despite interest from north London rivals Arsenal. The Roma midfielder is said to be hoping to work with Spurs managing director Fabio Paratici, meaning Antonio Conte has the upper hand over Mikel Arteta even despite the Gunners’ better start to the Premier League season.
Zaniolo emerged as one of Tottenham’s top targets during the summer transfer window as Conte looked to add to his squad. It was reported that the club offered Roma Joe Rodon plus £25million in cash to try and tempt the Serie A side to allow him to leave – but the move was rejected as they were holding out for a figure closer to £40m and uninterested in the Welsh defender.
Speculation in recent weeks has suggested Arsenal could now make a move for his services, particularly as new contract talks stalled at Roma over the 23-year-old’s wage demands. His current deal expires in 2024, meaning he could be available for a cut-price fee next year as the European Conference League champions look to avoid losing him for nothing.
However, in the know Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has played down talk of a move to the Emirates, suggesting Spurs are the only Premier League club in the running. The midfielder is said to be keen to work with the Lilywhites director Paratici, something he has wanted to do since the 50-year-old was at Juventus.
“Nicolo Zaniolo only had one real request in the summer and that was Tottenham,” Di Marzio told Wettfreunde. “Tottenham tried to get him but with a swap deal with other players or a loan option and AS Roma didn’t want to sell the player under those conditions.
“Now it’s about Zaniolo’s contract. Whether or not Roma will renew Zaniolo’s contract because his contract expires in a year and a half so they need to renew his contract if they want the contractual power if the player makes a request. Arsenal or other clubs? no
“Only Tottenham can come back because Tottenham sporting director Fabio Paratici is one of the managers Zaniolo has wanted for a long time. Even when he was at Juventus.”
Much of Zaniolo’s Roma career has been beset by injuries having suffered two ACL ruptures in the space of two years. Despite this, he has still made 119 appearances for the Italian side since his arrival from Inter Milan in 2018 scoring 22 times, including the winner in the European Conference League final as the Giallorossi won their first trophy in 14 years.
It remains to be seen where Zaniolo will end up – but it appears Spurs are in the driving seat for his signature.