Newcastle United have seen an approach for Roma winger Nicolo Zaniolo rebuffed, according to Sky Italy (via The Daily Mirror).
Zaniolo joined Roma from Inter Milan in a £4.05million deal back in 2018, and his estimated value has now climbed to £29.7million (via Transfermarkt).
Last season, he largely split his minutes between the right wing and second striker roles under Jose Mourinho.
It was a campaign that ended in silverware, with Zaniolo scoring the only goal as Roma beat Feyenoord 1-0 in the Europa Conference League final.
The report states that Roma are planning to sell Zaniolo this summer in order to fund incomings.
Newcastle saw an opportunity and made a bid, but it was rejected because the player isn’t keen to play in the Premier League.
It remains to be seen whether that stance changes, but domestic offers from AC Milan and Juventus are also anticipated.
Zaniolo’s overall record of 22 goals and 15 assists in 111 appearances for Roma may not be particularly eye-catching, but his strike in the ECL final saw him reach a commendable 17 goal involvements in 2021/22 (8G, 9A).
And that return is all the more impressive when you consider that he’s had to come back from two serious knee ligament injuries in the space of two seasons.
Beyond end product, Zaniolo also records high volumes of dribbles (he’s in the 91st percentile among positional peers in the top five European leagues) and receives 8.58 progressive passes per 90 minutes (90th percentile). That speaks to both his technical ability and his positional intelligence.
As per FBRef, he boasts a similar profile to the likes of West Ham’s Said Benrahma and Wolves’ Adama Traore.
Where will Newcastle finish in 2022/23?
Zaniolo, who was named the best young player in Serie A in 2018/19, has been called ‘joyous‘ by Italian football journalist Euan Burns and ‘huge talent‘ by talent scout Jacek Kulig. It’s easy to see why Newcastle are interested.
In other news, a club chief has confirmed a big NUFC transfer development.
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