Tottenham Hotspur’s hierarchy are reportedly ignoring the desires of Antonio Conte as they are unwilling to pay €60m for Nicolo Zaniolo.
The 23-year-old’s progress was hampered in 2020/21 as he missed the entire season due to a serious knee injury.
He made his return ahead of Jose Mourinho’s arrival last summer and he shone under the ex-Tottenham boss last term. He was involved in 17 goals from 42 appearances across all competitions.
Interestingly, Zaniolo played for 90 minutes against Spurs in a pre-season friendly over the weekend.
Roger Ibanez netted as Roma won 1-0. Speaking post-match, Tottenham manager Conte suggested that this test will benefit his side:
“For sure, it was a very tough game, but I think it’s good in this way, because in one week, we have to start the season,” Conte said (via Tottenham’s official website).
“It’s positive to have this type of test, a tough test, and to understand if we want to try to be competitive and try to get a win in every game, we have to continue to go strong in every situation.
“The players know we don’t want to lose, even in a friendly game. Tonight, we lost due to a detail, because we conceded a goal from a corner, and we have to pay more attention because if you want to go to another level, you have to take care of the details.
“The positives are that the players are without injury, and we recovered Ben Davies. I preferred not to take a risk with him. Lenglet in the second half was another positive, Perisic and Doherty, I tried to give minutes to them because they are coming back from long injuries. Tonight was positive for them to play and to get minutes. We need to reach the peak of fitness quickly but, for sure, there are a lot of positive things in this game.”
Conte was not happy with his squad last season but he still managed to guide them to fourth in the Premier League.
He wanted to be backed this summer and Spurs have obliged. Over £90m has been spent to bring in the likes of Yves Bissouma, Richarlison and Djed Spence.
The ex-Chelsea is not content there though. According to Calciomercato (via Sport Witness), he has been putting ‘pressure’ on Tottenham to sign Zaniolo.
Clubs have been told by Roma that the midfielder will not leave this summer unless they receive a €60m (£50m) bid.
Juventus are also tracking him but they think this asking price is ‘excessive’. Despite Conte’s stance, Tottenham also ‘do not seem inclined’ to pay that fee. The player is still under contract until 2024.