Agent claims Nicolo Zaniolo was key transfer target for Tottenham – and likens him to former Spurs star

Nicolo Zaniolo

Nicolo Zaniolo's agent has claimed that Tottenham wanted to sign his player this summer.

Spurs broke their transfer record to sign Tanguy Ndombele for £54m and also added Giovani Lo Celso, Ryan Sessegnon and Jack Clarke, who returned to Leeds on a season-long loan.

Zaniolo was another player the north Londoners kept tabs on, but the Italian's representative has explained that Mauricio Pochettino ultimately opted for Lo Celso instead.

"He renewed [his contract] with Roma and is fine at Roma, but obviously we enjoyed the great interest of Tottenham, who were runners-up in the Champions League,” Claudio Vigorelli told the Daily Mail.

“Their concrete interest in him shows how good the boy’s season was. Spurs thought a lot about Nicolo before taking Lo Celso, they focused their attention on him seriously - more than any other club even beyond the Premier League. I can say that only Mauricio Pochettino’s club has carried out such in-depth market analysis in England."

The 20-year-old Zaniolo enjoyed an excellent breakout campaign at Roma in 2018/19, making 27 Serie A appearances following his move from Inter.

And Vigorelli sees similarities between his client and former Tottenham and England midfielder Paul Gascoigne.

“The boy has a mild character despite what is written and sometimes said in Italy. He is a serious professional upon whom Italy will rely in the future. He was born to be a footballer and wants to play football at great levels.

“[Roma manager Paulo] Fonseca has designed an important role for him and trained young talents very well in the past. Zaniolo resembles Gascoigne very much for his physical qualities but he has a much milder character.

“Now Fonseca is playing him in central midfield, a position he likes, where he can become just like Gascoigne: devastating with his technique and quality. He is a creative player who has pace and muscle, which is a rare commodity in Italy.”

Tottenham will resume their Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

READ MORE

What’s Lionel Messi like in real life? From mumbling diamond to mercurial genius – but still a man of few words

Ranked! EVERY England manager from worst to best

9 players who've been far better for their country than clubs