Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo ‘prefers a move to Milan over Tottenham’ in a big blow to Antonio Conte’s plans to reinforce his Spurs squad… but Jose Mourinho believes the star will end up staying in the Italian capital
- Nicola Zaniolo has asked for a move away from Roma, with Milan his preference
- Tottenham are interested in the 23-year-old and remain ‘in the running’ for him
- It is a case of playing the waiting game now for Spurs as Roma begin to decide
- Roma boss Jose Mourinho believes his young Italian star will remain in Rome
Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo favours a switch to AC Milan as opposed to a move to Tottenham, if he is to move this window.
The 23-year-old has long been admired by Antonio Conte, with Spurs having attempted to sign the 6ft 3ins attacking midfielder during the past three windows.
Though Zaniolo would rather stay in Italy, according to Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, wanting to move to the current Scudetto holders over North London.
Nicolo Zaniolo could be set for a move away from Roma with both AC Milan and Spurs keen
Per the report, Milan are ‘increasingly interested’ and have decided to stump up an initial loan fee of £2.6-3.6million with an obligation to buy, hinging on Champions League qualification.
This would then take it to a ‘minimum’ of £22m – well short of Roma’s recent £35m price. Tottenham have offered a loan with option to buy at £30million but Roma want an obligation clause, similar to Milan’s current proposal.
The Serie A champions initially wanted to push a deal through in the summer but recognize a deal must be done sooner than later.
Roma boss Jose Mourinho does not believe Zaniolo will be leaving for either Milan or London
According to Pedulla, Spurs do ‘remain in the running’ but Zaniolo’s preference for Milan means it is a waiting game for Conte and owner Daniel Levy.
Roma boss Jose Mourinho said on Sunday: ‘Nicolo’s wish is to leave but in the end I think he’ll stay. Why? Usually when a player wants to leave, it’s because there’s an important offer on the table.
‘But so far there’s nothing for Zaniolo. That’s why I think he’ll be here a week from now.’
Zaniolo has scored 24 times while registering 18 assists in 128 appearances for the Serie A giants.
Antonio Conte could once more miss out on another key target if Zaniolo moves to AC Milan
He played no part in Roma’s 2-0 win against Spezia in Serie A on Sunday, with club director Tiago Pinto saying ahead of the game the player had ‘put his individual interest in front of those of the collective’ by deciding not to feature.
Mourinho added: ‘The director spoke before the match, and he did it well. The important thing today is to have won with a good team performance.’
It could be another false down for Tottenham after indecisiveness meant they missed out on the winger. He joined rivals Arsenal for £27m instead.
Zaniolo has scored 24 times while registering 18 assists in 128 appearances for the Rome club
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