With domestic football calendars across Europe now motoring their way through fixtures once again following the dramatic finale to the first ever winter World Cup out in Qatar, football fans have had plenty of distractions with the January transfer market opening at the beginning of the month, and as is usual, AS Roma and the Special One, Jose Mourinho, are being linked with almost endless ins and outs when it comes to player changes.
One of the latest stories to hit the rumour mill concerning Roma comes from the English press and involves 23 year old versatile attacker Nicolo Zaniolo. The Italian had a very good 2021/22 Serie A campaign, and maybe it is owing more to his own versatility on the pitch – capable of playing as an attacking midfielder, striker and right sided winger – his form in the disrupted 2022/23 campaign has not been as impressive based on his earlier self set standards. Given his form last year you would have to be doing a Loony Bingo review to have thought he would drop off that much this season.
Reports in England suggest that Mourinho could be open to moving him on during this months window and apparently recently promoted Nottingham Forest are interested, as well as Newcastle United following their Saudi Arabian backed takeover all those months ago and struggling West Ham United.
With that speculation hitting the airwaves, several Italian outlets have built on that recently by speculating on Roma’s position in any potential negotiations, and they simply offer that with it being ‘no secret’ that the Premier League trio are interested in Zaniolo’s services, Roma are ‘wondering about what they’ll do with the player’ when crossed and compared with their own potential plans for strengthening Mourinho’s own first team before we tick into the month of February.
Although real details are thin here, it is suggested the Italian side would ‘seriously consider’ a sale if they received an offer in the region of £18 million to £22 million, but given his success last year, it is believed that Roma’s preferred plan would be to tie him down to a contract extension first given his current deal expires a year next summer, in the hope that he can fully recapture his true form in the very near future and again become an incredible asset for them in their own domestic and European campaigns.
Failing that, in the alternative, if a new contract could be secured it would, of course, mean that should he not find his previous form again, that they would then be looking to sell him on during the summer for a boosted valuation of around the £31 million to £35 million mark.
We will have to see what decision Roma take in the remaining days of the month.