AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho trying to block Nicolo Zaniolo’s transfer to Tottenham Hotspur
AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho has spoken to Nicolo Zaniolo to try and convince him to stay at the club this season amidst interest from Tottenham Hotspur, according to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport (h/t the Mirror).
The 23-year-old had apparently said yes to a €4.5million contract at the club, while the Lilywhites even had a deal in place to sign him on a loan with an obligation to buy. However, Mourinho wants the Italy international to stay.
If not that, then he wants any sale for Zaniolo to be made in cash this summer itself. Smart move, as by next summer, the Italy international would have been a year closer to his contract expiry at Stadio Olimpico.
Both clubs have shown ambition this summer. Spurs have made their fair share of signings and are set to sign Destiny Udogie from Udinese as their seventh summer acquisition.
What next for Zaniolo?
I Giallorossi, meanwhile, have seen two superstars arrive in the form of midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and former Juventus playmaker Paulo Dybala. This underlines what Mourinho is trying to achieve at the club.
And for this reason, he wants Zaniolo to stay. The current UEFA Europa Conference League holders would at least aim for a top-four finish this season but a title challenge cannot be ruled out.
The two teams, in that regard, are similar to each other when it comes to their aspirations this season. They faced off recently last month in Israel when Roma won 1-0 against Spurs in a pre-season friendly.
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Zaniolo started the game as a left-sided attacking midfielder alongside Dybala and former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham. Rober Ibanez’s goal in the 29th minute, assisted by the Argentina international, proved to be the difference.