The moment José Mourinho opened his mouth and advised Nicolò Zaniolo that he should try his luck abroad, we knew Tottenham would be linked with a move.
After all, Spurs have been suggested as being an interested party in the past, helped by the fact they have Fabio Paratici as their director of football and Antonio Conte as their manager.
Mourinho, whose AS Roma side lost 1-0 to Bologna on Wednesday night, explained that if he were the Italian playmaker, he ‘would begin to think that playing in Serie A has become impossible’ due to ‘the way he is treated’.
He then told him to ‘go abroad’, doing so against his own interests’.
A lot of this stems from various issues, including frustrated contract renewal talks, referees thinking he dives and a struggle to fit into Mourinho’s system.
If Zaniolo did in fact think that moving to another country to continue his career was indeed a good idea, then Calciomercato in Italy think that Spurs would be interested.
They state the player ‘has long been in the crosshairs of Antonio Conte for his Tottenham’, but despite already making his ‘request’, the former Chelsea manager ‘will have to wait until the summer to understand more’.
This suggests that despite Mourinho’s comments, there would be little interest in parting ways with Zaniolo midway through the season from AS Roma’s side, which is understandable.
If they do decide to sell him, however, his ‘valuation has dropped to €40m’, even if the Friedkins, who own the Serie A side, ‘do not seem willing to let go of what they consider to be one of the few, true prospects of value in the squad’.