Bad news for the Nicolo Zaniolo fans reading this blog. According to the Evening Standard, a potential deal between Roma and Tottenham Hotspur for the transfer of the dribbly attacking midfielder is now likely off after Jose Mourinho’s club backed off on negotiations recently. A transfer is now unlikely, with Spurs to shift their focus back to outgoing transfers.
So I’m just going to come out and say it: I never really wanted Zaniolo to begin with, and I think that was inferred by the tone in my previous articles about this. It was always my opinion that there were much better (and cheaper) options available for a dribbly creative(ish) attacking midfielder out there, and that the €50m price tag Roma was slapping on Zaniolo was way too high. Also, while Zaniolo had some good moments last season for Roma, he’s coming off of a series of bad injuries to both his knees. For me, it’s a little scary when you’re about to drop more than £45m on a 23 year old with an injury history like that.
Interestingly, Dan Kilpatrick makes it sound like Spurs were OFFERED Zaniolo at the above price earlier in the summer (Spurs didn’t seek him out despite numerous transfer links in years past) and that Roma has now had “a change of heart.” And it’s weird that, until now, there were very few actual transfer rumors about Zaniolo being reported in the English media — almost all of the stories were emerging in the Italian media-o-sphere, which has a reputation for being pretty unreliable based on the source.
So. For me, this story results in a shrug and an oh well. There are new rumors that Lyon has dropped their asking price for Lucas Paquetá to around £30m, and if Conte really wants a dribbly(ish) attacking midfielder they should be looking there instead.