Manchester United and Spurs are locked in a battle to land £53million-rated Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, according to reports in Italy.
The 20-year-old has made a rapid rise at Roma since coming through the Fiorentina youth system and is now regarded as one of Serie A’s brightest young stars.
He made 36 appearances for the capital club last season, scoring six times, and has already scored twice in five appearances for his country.
Zaniolo’s impressive progress has continued this term and the young playmaker had bagged six goals in 24 appearances before suffering a knee ligament injury.
But despite being sidelined since January 12 due to injury and the Coronavirus pandemic, interest in the Roma star hasn’t abated.
Leggo in Italy (via Sport Witness) claim that Manchester United and Tottenham have ‘been pressing for months’ to try and get Roma to sell while there’s inevitable interest from his homeland too, with Serie A leaders Juventus showing a keen interest.
The Italian source says Zaniolo is happy and does not want to leave but may be forced to do so.
Roma have suffered a drain of their top stars to the Premier League, with Liverpool landing Mo Salah and Alisson Becker, and finances could dictate that Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi has to negotiate another ‘painful sale’.
However, he wouldn’t be allowed to go cheaply and it’s believed that Roma would want around £53million for Zaniolo.
United still can’t be sure of Paul Pogba’s long-term plans while Juan Mata is now 32 so there could be a space in their midfield.
And while Tottenham have plenty of options, Zaniolo is being talked off as a direct replacement for the departed Christian Eriksen.
The links with Spurs have been there for nearly a year when it was reported that the North London outfit had tried to lure him to England in last summer’s transfer window.