Newcastle United and Tottenham target ‘has preference’ ahead of January transfer window

The Magpies are said to have an interest in one Serie A star ahead of the January transfer window.

Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly set to suffer disappointment in their pursuit of Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo.

The talented forward was linked with a move away from the Serie A club during the summer after Spurs were said to have lodged a £20m bid for a player that helped Roma become the first ever winners of the UEFA Europa Conference League with a final win against Dutch side Feyenoord last season.

However, Zaniolo remained in the Italian capital and has gone on to score two goals and provide three assists in 14 appearances in all competitions for Jose Mourinho’s side so far this season. Speaking in October, Mourinho gave an insight into his concerns over the forward’s future and speculation he could have left the Serie A giants last summer. He said: “I knew he’s an important player for us, with different qualities compared to others. He’s the only one with this kind of physical potential.

Yes, I was a bit afraid he might leave us. Not a lot because Tiago Pinto (Roma general manager) never discussed it with me, never mentioned there was a concrete possibility. Zaniolo is a good kid. When I first came here they all told me he was very unprofessional. Either they were lying to me, or he’s changed a lot. He’s never been late to training, never caused me any problems.”

Despite receiving the backing of his manager, speculation over Zaniolo’s long-term future at the Stadio Olimpico refuses to go away and one report in Italy has suggested the forward is still waiting on talks over extending his current contract, which is set to end in the summer of 2024.

CalcioMercato have reported Spurs are ready to rekindle their interest in Zaniolo and have stated Newcastle’s ‘wide economic availability’ and current league position has put them into contention to sign the 11-times capped Italy star. However, there is also a claim that the forward has already stated his preference is to remain in Serie A ‘whether with Roma or with another Italian club’.