Jose Mourinho has revealed that while he would love rumoured Tottenham target Nicolo Zaniolo to remain at AS Roma, the decision is down to the club’s hierarchy.
Zaniolo was linked with a move to Spurs earlier this summer (Corriere dello Sport) but the speculation has died down recently, with The Evening Standard reporting a couple of weeks ago that Roma had cooled their interest in selling the 23-year-old.
CalcioMercato reported last week that Antonio Conte continues to ‘insist’ that Tottenham sign the winger but the report asserted the Italy international is now closer to signing a contract extension at the Stadio Olimpico than he has been for a while.
Zaniolo started for the Giallarossi in their Serie A season-opener at Salernitana last Sunday and Mourinho spoke in glowing terms of the winger’s display, describing it as ‘extraordinary’ (Roma’s official YouTube channel).
The former Spurs boss has now praised Zaniolo for the effort he is putting in during training and admitted that he is an important player for Roma.
Mourinho said (via The Daily Express): “Zaniolo looks very sharp and physically agile, as it’s not easy for a player like him to maintain that intensity for 90 minutes. He deserves the credit for training hard and having the right motivation.
“If he remains or not, that’s a question for the director, not for me. If you ask me, I’d love him to remain, obviously. He is an important player for us, a key piece of the puzzle to bring together all the characteristics of our players.”
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I suspect Tottenham would have been able to get a deal for Zaniolo over the line this summer if Mourinho had not intervened to stop the deal.
The 23-year-old looks likely to now remain at Roma this summer but Spurs might continue to keep an eye on his situation. If Zaniolo does not sign a new deal within the next few months, Paratici might go back in for him in January.
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