Tottenham have been put on red alert after Roma boss Jose Mourinho told one of their transfer targets to leave Italy.
Mourinho joined Tottenham in November 2019 as a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino. He guided the north London club to sixth in the Premier League table, helping them to qualify for the Europa League.
He was in charge for most of the 2020-21 campaign but lost his job in April amid a poor run of results. The Portuguese’s sacking came less than a week before the Carabao Cup final, which Spurs lost to Man City.
Mourinho is now Roma’s head coach. They got off to an electric start under his stewardship, although they are now fifth in Serie A and 11 points off top spot.
Plenty of Roma stars have been linked with Spurs, and vice versa, since Mourinho’s switch to Italy.
One of those is Nicolo Zaniolo, who operates as a right winger. The 22-year-old could be available for €40m (£33.9m) next year.
Following Roma’s narrow defeat to Bologna on Wednesday, Mourinho spoke to DAZN about the fierce tackles Zaniolo is receiving. He went on to give a huge hint about the player’s future at the Stadio Olimpico.
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“I speak against myself, but if I am Zaniolo I begin to think about not staying in Serie A for so long because I feel bad for him for what he has to suffer,” Mourinho said.
During an interview with Roma’s official website, the manager added: “I advise Zaniolo to go abroad, because here in Italy it is becoming impossible for him.”
Zaniolo had spells with Fiorentina and Inter’s youth teams before joining Roma as a teenager in 2018. His debut for the three-time Italian champions came in the Champions League against Real Madrid.
Tottenham ‘paying’ for past mistakes – Conte
Meanwhile, Spurs boss Antonio Conte admits the club are ‘paying’ for transfer mistakes they have made in the past few years.
He told Sky Sports: “The club, in the last years, has been slipping. If I compare Tottenham to when I was in Chelsea, Tottenham was very, very competitive, was a really, really strong team.
“And I think that to lose important players or someone became old and then to have a change of generation, I think Tottenham now is paying a bit of this.
“Now we have to create, to start again. To think that we have to create a solid base and then to build. Because if we don’t have a solid base, it’s impossible to build something important.
“I think that now is the right moment to create a solid base and then to start to build. To come back to fight for something important as [in] the past.”