Chelsea can unwittingly aid Tottenham in signing classy forward Nicolo Zaniolo by selling a high profile attacker of their own to Roma, per a report.
Spurs are at something of a stalemate at present. Antonio Conte is out of contract at season’s end and is believed to want assurances he’ll be backed in the market before penning fresh terms. In effect, he wants vital reinforcements this month as a show of faith from Daniel Levy.
In contrast, Levy and Spurs want Conte to commit his future before then opening the chequebook. Indeed, why would Tottenham buy players specifically suited to Conte if there’s no guarantee he’ll still be the manager next season?
Clouding the issue further is the fall-out from Juventus’ scandal over in Italy. Juve have been docked 15 points as a result of an investigation into alleged financial irregularities and false accounting practices.
The Turin club will appeal the decision, as will several high profile officials who have been handed bans of varying lengths. Among them is sporting director Fabio Paratici – now of Tottenham – who’s been banned from operating in Italy for 30 months.
In any case, Tottenham are continuing to be linked with January arrivals and two players in particular look extremely gettable.
Tottenham sizing up impressive double coup
Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Porro can be signed if Spurs meet his €45m (approx. £40m) release clause. Tottenham have tabled a bid that also include any one of three makeweights, but Sporting would rather receive straight cash.
Elsewhere, long-time Tottenham target, Nicolo Zaniolo, is finally available for transfer this month.
The 23-year-old attacker will not be signing a contract extension in Rome and manager Jose Mourinho recently confirmed Zaniolo has asked to leave.
“Nicoló Zaniolo has asked to leave the club — but it’s not sure that it’s going to happen,” said Mourinho (via Fabrizio Romano).
“Current proposals are not enough. We only need a good proposal to let Zaniolo leave, and we’ve not received it. My feeling is that at the end, he will stay.”
Roma are understood to value Zaniolo between the £30m-£35m range. Today’s Transfer Gossip detailed Spurs’ first proposal that included a makeweight winger.
However, the longer the window drags on, the likelier Roma are to accept a lower bid. What’s more, both Sky Italia and Fabrizio Romano now report Roma are already sizing up Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech as Zaniolo’s replacement.
Necessary Chelsea exit can aid Spurs in Zaniolo pursuit
Via Sky Sports, Sky Italia reported Roma are mulling a move for the 29-year-old Moroccan.
Ziyech was a target for Roma back in 2018, though sporting director Monchi dubiously chose Javier Pastore instead.
Roma are seeking to rectify that blunder and with Chelsea’s forward ranks swelled to breaking point, they may get the chance. The triple arrival of Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke has presented Graham Potter with a new type of problem.
Exits are required to simply register some of their new faces in Chelsea’s Champions League squad. Ziyech could be one, with Romano tweeting the Blues will ‘discuss bids’ for the winger.
The very fact Roma are already exploring a move for a direct Zaniolo replacement is good news for Spurs.
What’s more, if they’re able to find common ground with Chelsea, they may wind up relaxing their demands over Zaniolo too.
Sky point out one potential hurdle in the transfer chain, however, that of Ziyech’s high wages.
Either a pay-cut could be required, or if Roma table a loan proposal, Chelsea may be asked to subsidise a portion of Ziyech’s salary. In that scenario, they really would be doing Tottenham a huge favour.