Tottenham Hotspur's chances of securing Nicolo Zaniolo of Roma have reportedly just gotten a little better.
The Italian schemer was a target for Spurs during the transfer window but never ended up in north London. An important man for Jose Mourinho's side, the 23-year-old missed almost an entire season due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury but bounced back last season to score the only goal as La Lupi beat Feyenoord in the inaugural Europa Conference League final.
Now, Zaniolo is hoping for a bumper new deal in the Eternal City – but with his employers playing hardball, it's more likely that he could depart Roma on the cheap.
Back in early August, Ben Jacobs of CBS Sports Golazo tweeted of Tottenham's interest in the Italian, saying that they felt the £50 million asking price around £10m too expensive. Since then, the asking price seems to have dropped a little.
Il Messaggero in Italy have reported that contract talks have begun between the capital club and Zaniolo over a new deal but that the two parties remain far from any kind of agreement.
With Zaniolo apparently destined to leave the club – and Paulo Dybala now a part of Mourinho's side – Conte would not have to splash out nearly as much to secure the forward. With Spurs still needing reinforcement up front, Zaniolo could even end up being a cost-effective option.
The Lilywhites have Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison as options to choose between up front but beyond these first four options, cover is scant. Fans will no doubt be worried about injury problems and who of Bryan Gil, Ivan Perisic, Ryan Sessegnon or Lucas Moura could potentially fill a void.
Tottenham were reportedly interested in a playmaker towards the end of the transfer window but did not make a serious move for one, having tied up six deals during the summer.
Richarlison – the forward they spent £50m on instead of Zaniolo – scored on his Champions League debut last week against Marseille.
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Antonio Conte has asked his Tottenham side to be dreamers ahead of a busy season. The Italian is convinced that Harry Kane is now 100% happy, though he’s admitted that Spurs need another window to fully compete. Worries over Son Heung-min’s form have been quashed by the manager, too.
With a packed schedule, it’s been confirmed that Kane will get plenty of rest. Despite this, there weren't many incomings towards the end of the window. A new playmaker has been touted, with Tanguy Ndombele leaving on loan. Djed Spence could well be starting soon too, with Conte impressed with the new signing.