Jose Mourinho is decisive for Tottenham’s fate after Nicolo Zaniolo’s transfer deal

Jose Mourinho with Roma player Nicolo Zaniolo

Tottenham Hotspur recently agreed a formula with Roma for the transfer of Nicolo Zaniolo, claims a report revealing the attacker’s fate.

Spurs have been working on a deal to sign Zaniolo from Roma, which would deprive their former manager Jose Mourinho of a key player. Fabio Paratici has been working on the transfer, in another example of the club looking at the Italian market.

According to recent reports, Tottenham have made a bid for Zaniolo. However, it was laughed off at the time because it fell short of Roma’s asking price.

Tottenham were trying to sign the attacking midfielder on loan with an obligation to buy. The numbers didn’t add up, though.

Still, there may have been progress behind the scenes. Seconds Corriere Dello Sport, a local newspaper in Rome, the clubs agreed a loan with the obligation to buy until Thursday. And it may have reached €50m (£42.3m) after all.

So Tottenham might have some optimism after all. Having come through a lot this summer, could Zaniolo be their next recruit?

Well, the answer still seems to be no. Despite their progress with Roma, Spurs still face an obstacle from their former manager, Mourinho.

Corriere Dello Sport claims that Mourinho has spoken to Zaniolo and told him to stay in the Italian capital. The Roma manager is predicting a big season for his club, who have impressed in the transfer market with the addition of Paulo Dybala and Gini Wijnaldum.

Mourinho needs Zaniolo for the second season

Mourinho has a reputation for success in his second seasons at clubs. After winning the Europa Conference League in his debut season in Rome, expectations are growing.

While Dybala’s arrival may threaten Zaniolo’s regular starting role, Mourinho is keen to keep the latter, who scored the winning goal in that European final, at his disposal. In fact, he feels that he needs it.

Therefore, it now seems more likely that Zaniolo will stay at Roma this summer. And after the window closes, he could sign a new contract with them.

His current terms expire in 2024. A future sale would not be ruled out with a new deal, but Roma are keen to protect the high valuation they have placed on Zaniolo.

Tottenham they were willing to offer him an annual salary worth €4.5 million, which would equate to around £73,000 a week. When Roma discuss new terms in September, they will be working from the region of €4m per season, or £65,000 per week.

How should Tottenham react to the transfer setback?

Now, Tottenham must come up with new plans. Are they trying to launch a new bid to convince Zaniolo to opt for them? Or they should abandon the route altogether.

Given their depth in attacking midfield areas, where they can count on Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison, Lucas Moura and Ivan Perisic, perhaps their need for Zaniolo was not as great as imagined.

His signing would be a kind of icing on the cake, rather than an essential ingredient. However, Antonio Conte knows a player when he sees one and has taken a liking to the 23-year-old.

Perhaps Tottenham should keep him on their radar for the long term. For now, though, it may be a given defeat.

After all the options listed above, they may not even need an alternate target. But it will be Conte who will decide how much depth he needs for a season that once again contains Champions League football.

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