Jose Mourinho has lavished praise on reported Tottenham target Nicolo Zaniolo for his performance in AS Roma’s 1-0 win over Salernitana.
Over the last week, reports have indicated that Spurs are not expected to be successful in their pursuit of Zaniolo.
Corriere dello Sport revealed last Wednesday that Tottenham had struck an agreement with Roma regarding the 23-year-old but Mourinho stepped in to block the transfer.
The Evening Standard reported the next day that Roma had cooled their interest in selling Zaniolo this summer.
Despite this, the speculation linking the Italy international with a move to Tottenham has not completely died down, with journalist Pete O’Rourke telling GiveMeSport that both Fabio Paratici and Antonio Conte are still ‘pushing’ to get the deal done.
Zaniolo started for the Giallorossi in their Serie A season-opener at Salernitana on Sunday and played 79 minutes as Mourinho’s men came away with a 1-0 win courtesy of Bryan Cristante’s 33rd-minute strike.
Speaking after the game, the former Spurs boss described the performances from Zaniolo and new signing Paulo Dybala as ‘extraordinary’.
Mourinho told Roma’s official YouTube channel after the 1-0 win: “I am very happy to see what the game has given me. Obviously, it would have been better to reach 90 minutes three or 4-0 (ahead) and not 1-0.
“But what we did in the last 15, I liked because it was a sign of maturity. Dybala and Zaniolo played an extraordinary game and both could have scored two goals each.
“I’m incapable of not saying that Dybala and Zaniolo played an extraordinary game. We were always in control of the game and we got three important points.”
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The fact that Zaniolo started the game suggests that Jose very much expects him to stay at the club. The 23-year-old’s performance against Salernitana would have likely further added to Roma’s asking price. So, Tottenham’s pursuit of the winger appears to be well and truly over.
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