Jose Mourinho decisive to Tottenham fate after Nicolo Zaniolo transfer agreement
Tottenham Hotspur recently agreed a formula with Roma for the transfer of Nicolo Zaniolo, claims a report revealing the attacker’s fate.
Spurs have been working on a deal to sign Zaniolo from Roma, which would deprive their former boss Jose Mourinho of a key player. Fabio Paratici has been working on the transfer, in another example of the club looking at the Italian market.
According to recent reports, Tottenham have made an offer for Zaniolo. However, it was laughed off at the time due to it falling short of Roma’s asking price.
Tottenham were trying to sign the attacking midfielder on loan with an obligation to buy. The numbers did not add up, though.
Still, there may actually have been progress behind the scenes. According to Corriere Dello Sport, a newspaper local to Rome, the clubs agreed over a loan with an obligation to buy as far back as Thursday. And it may have come to €50million (£42.3million) after all.
Therefore, Tottenham could have some optimism after all. After already spending heavily this summer, could Zaniolo be their next recruit?
Well, the answer still appears to be no. Despite their progress with Roma, Spurs still face an obstacle from their ex-manager, Mourinho.
Corriere Dello Sport claim that Mourinho has spoken with Zaniolo and told him to stay in the Italian capital. The Roma boss is predicting a big season ahead for his club, who have impressed in the transfer window by bringing in the likes of Paulo Dybala and Gini Wijnaldum.
Mourinho needs Zaniolo for second season
Mourinho has a reputation for enjoying success in his second seasons at clubs. After already winning the Europa Conference League in his debut Roma season, expectations are growing.
Although the arrival of Dybala may threaten Zaniolo’s regular starting role, Mourinho wants to keep the latter – who scored the winning goal in that European final – at his disposal. In fact, he feels he needs him.
Therefore, it is now looking more likely for Zaniolo to stay at Roma this summer. And after the window closes, he could sign a new contract with them.
His current terms are due to expire in 2024. A future sale wouldn’t be ruled out by a new deal, but Roma are keen to protect the high valuation they have placed on Zaniolo.
Tottenham were willing to offer him an annual salary worth €4.5m, which would equate to around £73,000 per week. When Roma discuss new terms in September, they will work from the region of €4m per season, or £65,000 per week.
How should Tottenham react to transfer setback?
Now, Tottenham must draw up some new plans. Do they try to launch a new offer to convince Zaniolo to opt for them? Or should they abandon the route altogether.
Given their depth in the attacking midfield zones, where they can call upon Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison, Lucas Moura and Ivan Perisic, perhaps their need for Zaniolo wasn’t as great as imagined.
His signing would be a kind of cherry on top of the cake, rather than an essential ingredient. However, Antonio Conte knows a player when he sees one and has been enthralled with the 23-year-old.
Maybe Tottenham should keep him on their radar for the long term. For now, though, it may be a case of conceding defeat.
After all the options listed above, they might not even need an alternative target. But it will be up to Conte to decide how much depth he needs for a season which contains Champions League football again.
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