Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle latest: Eddie Howe eyes second Italian as Magpies ‘in talks’ over Tottenham, Juventus, AC Milan target

Rafael Leao and Nicolo Zaniolo

Newcastle have reportedly joined the race to sign Galatasaray midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo and have opened talks with the player’s agent.

The Magpies have already added quality to their talented squad, with defensive midfielder Sandro Tonali arriving from AC Milan. They have also recruited winger Harvey Barnes from Leicester City and look set to snare Southampton full-back Valentino Livramento. Manager Eddie Howe has got most things right in terms of recruitment to date.

But his latest target will be seen as more of a gamble, with Zaniolo having endured a frustrating career to date.

The 24-year-old was signed by Inter Milan in July 2017 but failed to make a single appearance for I Nerazzurri.

He moved to Roma the following summer and made 53 Serie A appearances across his first two seasons in the Eternal City.

However, the Massa-born ace then suffered a number of niggling injuries, culminating in a serious knee problem that saw him miss 2020-2021.

The Italian enjoyed 28 top-flight outings in 2021-22 under Jose Mourinho, scoring twice.

And he scored the only goal of the game as Roma beat Feyenoord to win the Europa Conference League in May 2022.

But a dip in form at the start of last season saw him targeted by a section of Roma fans.

He was booed off after a cup game while disgruntled supporters even turned up at his house.

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After that incident, he submitted a transfer request and left for Galatasaray during the 2023 winter window.

Things improved in Istanbul, with five goals from ten outings, only two of which were starts. And it appears as though Zaniolo is wanted at a number of top clubs.

Big-hitters circle for Zaniolo

Tottenham have been heavily linked with a move for Zaniolo in recent times.

It has been said that the north London outfit will offer cash plus a few players for the forward and his team-mate Victor Nelsson.

It is unclear whether the Turkish giants will play ball on that offer but there are other suitors in the game.

Juventus and AC Milan have been credited with an interest while clubs from Saudi Arabia are also thought to be keen.

And now Newcastle United have been added to the list of clubs willing to take a punt on the attacking midfielder.

According to Hurriyet the Tynesiders remain ‘in talks’ with Zaniolo and his agents over a summer switch to St James’ Park.

There is no question that it would be one of the club’s riskier signings due to his injury history.

But he is still a young player and has time to fulfil the potential that has been obvious since a young age.

Whether Gala are willing to part company with a player they have had for just seven months is another matter, however.

Newcastle will play in the Champions League in the upcoming campaign.

Howe needs plenty of midfield options to cope with the rigours of both Premier League and Champions League football.

Zaniolo has plenty of European experience, having played in both the Champions League and Europa League.

He is also versatile and can operate up front or as an attacking midfielder behind the main striker.

The Magpies are up against some huge clubs in the race for his signature.

But they have already shown with previous signings that they can now mix it with the best in the transfer market.

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