Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Nicolo Zaniolo latest: Tottenham go one step further in chase for Roma man as defensive star offered in part-exchange

Jose Mourinho with Roma player Nicolo Zaniolo

Tottenham are reportedly willing to use fringe defender Joe Rodon as part of a deal to bring one of Antonio Conte’s top targets to north London in Roma forward Nicolo Zaniolo.

Spurs have been heavily linked with Zaniolo ever since Fabio Paratici took over as sporting director, and those rumours grew even futher when Antonio Conte was appointed as Nuno Espirito Santo’s replacement.

For some time, it looked like Juventus would strike a deal for the Italy international. However, the Turin giants have failed in their efforts – with Roma refusing to sell to a Serie A rival.

The 22-year-old was outstanding last season, scoring 17 goals in 42 appearances. He also scored the winning goal against Feyenoord as Roma won the Europa Conference League under Jose Mourinho.

But with Zaniolo coming off the back of such a strong campaign his transfer fee is a high one.

Indeed, Roma are said to want around £43m – although the option of a player swap is a live one.

Previous reports state how Mourinho would like to bring Tottenham‘s record signing Tanguy Ndombele to the Italian capital.

The France midfielder will be on his way this summer after being frozen out by Antonio Conte.

A loan-to-buy deal is being mooted, but it’s not clear if the Roma hierarchy are ready to take a gamble on the massive Spurs flop.

Rodon could be Roma bound

That is where 90min reports their own swap deal in the form of centre-back Rodon being Roma bound.

The report states that Paratici and Conte are open to Rodon moving in the opposite direction, especially if they get their man.

The Wales international has been a regular for his country but hardly gets a look in at Tottenham.

To that end, it makes sense for Spurs to cut their losses and offload the former Swansea man.

Mourinho knows Rodon’s qualities well from his ill-fated spell in charge in north London. However, the question remains just how highly Tottenham value Rodon and how much that £43m Zaniolo figure will come down.

Spurs could well in the market for another attacker, with Conte seemingly keen on using Lucas Moura as a wing-back this season.

That is where the Brazilian has featured in pre-season, although it leaves Conte slightly short on forward options.

Zaniolo’s ability to play in all three forward positions makes him a versatile option for Tottenham.

All that now remains is for Paratici to convince Roma over Rodon and drive down that price for Zaniolo.

That’s unlikely to be an easy task, however, especially given how Mourinho ended his time in north London.

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