Man Utd, Tottenham in contention as Mourinho selection call sparks frenzy of rumours for €45m ace

Jose Mourinho with Roma player Nicolo Zaniolo

Nicolo Zaniolo remains a target for Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, who have learned how much they may have to invest to acquire him, according to reports.

Jose Mourinho, a former manager of both Premier League clubs, recently left Zaniolo out of his starting lineup for Roma’s 3-0 win over rivals Lazio. Although he had been playing regularly before that point, there have since been several rumours in Italy about the attacking midfielder.

This has been Zaniolo’s first season back in action after ending a year-long absence due to an ACL injury. He hasn’t quite been as impactful as he was before that physical setback.

But Roma have still been using him often and other clubs believe they can get something out of him.

According to Il Messaggero, Zaniolo is a target for Juventus after their decision not to extend the contract of Paulo Dybala. But there is a queue of clubs alongside Juve, which includes two from the Premier League.

Per the report, Man Utd and Tottenham are in contention to sign the Italy international. He can play as a winger, attacking midfielder or second striker.

Interestingly, both clubs have also been linked with Dybala. But they could turn their attention to the man Juventus are considering as a replacement.

Although the fact Mourinho dropped him for the derby could lead to a belief in a discounted deal, Roma will still be setting fairly significant demands. Apparently, the asking price will not be below €45m (just under £37.5m).

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As for Zaniolo’s wages, he will be wanting a salary of between €4m and €5m per season. That would equate to between £64,000 per week and £80,000 per week, roughly.

Currently, he takes home a salary of €2.5m per season from Roma (about £40,000 per week). His contract there expires in 2024 and he would presumably want a rise to renew it.

The likes of Man Utd or Tottenham may be more willing or able to give him such terms. First of all, though, they would need to match Roma’s demands for the transfer fee.

European competition for Zaniolo

Nicolo Zaniolo as a substitute for Roma

Outside the Premier League, Zaniolo is supposedly of interest to AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. That means he could either move elsewhere in Italy or try a new adventure in France, where he would link up with international colleagues Marco Verratti and Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Previous reports have also put the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle in contention. However, neither get a mention from Il Messaggero.

Instead, it could be Man Utd and Spurs battling for the 22-year-old’s services, along with their European competition, in the summer.

Tottenham will be aware of Zaniolo thanks to their Italian decision makers. Head coach Antonio Conte and managing director Fabio Paratici have witnessed his abilities first-hand.

As for United, there may be a revolution at Old Trafford in the summer. A new manager should be in place and several members of the playing squad could change.

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