Roma are now considering axing Nicolo Zaniolo from Jose Mourinho’s squad for the rest of the season. He is a transfer target of Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United in January.
That is according to Calciomercato, which reports Roma are desperate to offload Zaniolo in the mid-season market. His relationship with the rest of the Stadio Olimpico dressing room has now deteriorated massively. He had already fallen out with the Giallorossi’s hierarchy.
Roma have grown increasingly frustrated with Zaniolo’s attitude and are weighing up their options. An absolute sale would be the Serie A side’s most preferable outcome in the final days of the window. But club chiefs are also giving thought to the eventuality that he stays.
Among the considerations that Roma chiefs are discussing includes axing Zaniolo from the squad for the rest of the term. If the 23-year-old fails to secure a transfer, they could force him to train away from Mourinho’s side. But while it is not ruled out, it is an extreme idea.
Roma believe they must explore all possible eventualities after Zaniolo ruled himself out of their trip to Spezia on Sunday. His withdrawal from Mourinho’s plans was the latest step to a transfer. He is eager to clinch a change of scenery and looks fondly at a move to England.
Zaniolo’s decision to make himself unavailable to Mourinho enraged the Roma leadership. Sky Italy also reports that the Massa-born maestro informed the former Tottenham coach that he would not feature at Spezia. It adds that Roma want €40m (£35m) for his transfer.
West Ham have requested a loan transfer for Zaniolo this January, which Roma considered unacceptable, per Corriere dello Sport. The Hammers sought a one-year deal running until December that features an obligation to buy set at €30m (£26.5m) plus potential add-ons.
But the Irons only wanted an obligation to buy the 11-cap Italy ace next January if they get 30 points. Roma deemed the proposal inadequate, whilst Tottenham are also in talks with Zaniolo’s agent over his transfer, per Calciomercato. They met Claudio Vigorelli this Friday.
Zaniolo also views Tottenham as his preferred destination, not West Ham, should he leave Roma in a January transfer. But Spurs, likewise, would rather sign the attacking midfielder-cum-winger on loan with an objective-dependent obligation to buy him come the summer.