Tottenham Hotspur managing director Fabio Paratici has held direct talks for AS Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo amid the rumours of a move this summer, reports Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor.
The Lowdown: Zaniolo links
According to Italian outlet Tuttosport, Spurs are set to go head-to-head with Serie A giants Juventus in the battle to sign the 23-year-old attacker.
Journalist Maurizio Russo has revealed the Lilywhites have had an opening £25m bid rejected for the player, with their offer also including defender Joe Rodon as part of the deal.
Zaniolo has entered the final two years of his £75,000-a-week deal with Jose Mourinho’s side and since last year Spurs have been keeping an eye on his situation as talks over a contract extension seemingly broke down.
The Latest: Taylor’s claim
Taylor believes that bringing in a creative attacking midfielder is Antonio Conte’s top priority for the remainder of the transfer window, though he is not convinced of the reports of an actual bid being made.
Speaking with GiveMeSport, the journalist claimed: “I think the key now is to sign a creative midfielder that gives Conte the chance to switch from the 3-4-3 to 3-5-2 with a central attacking midfielder.
“I’m not sure on the Maddison and Zaniolo links, but I know Zaniolo is very much appreciated by Paratici.
“He’s one of the players he held talks for, while in Italy, but I don’t know about a bid, as such.”
The Verdict: Great signing
Praised for his ‘impressive quality and strength’ by former Roma boss Claudio Ranieri, it is easy to see why the Italian duo would be keen on bringing the 23-year-old to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer. Roma legend Daniele De Rossi has also hailed the youngster’s ‘incredible natural physique‘, so there should be no questions over his readiness for the rough and tumble of England’s top flight.
As per FBRef, compared with positional peers across Europe over the past year, Zaniolo ranks in the 93rd percentile for shots total, in the 90th percentile for progressive passes received and in the 83rd percentile for touches in the attacking penalty area, providing an all round threat in behind a natural number nine, such as Harry Kane.
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