Premier League giants Tottenham were hot on the heels of AS Roma's breakout star from last season, Nicolo Zaniolo. However, the North London based club realised that it was impossible to sign him and opted for Argentina International and Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso instead.
Nicolo Zaniolo's agent, Claudio Vigorelli, has claimed that Tottenham initially wanted to sign him, but had to settle for Giovani Lo Celso on a loan deal as Roma were in no way ready to let him go away. The 20-year-old had a fantastic breakout season last term with a struggling AS Roma, flourishing in both the Champions League and the Serie A, which saw quite a few sides take a keen interest in him.
Talking to Sportsmail, Vigorelli said, “He renewed with Roma and is fine at Roma but obviously we enjoyed the great interest of Tottenham, who were the runners up in the Champions League. 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 boy has a mild character despite what is written and sometimes is said in Italy. He is a serious professional on whom Italy will rely on in the future. He was born to be a footballer and wants to do football at great levels. Fonseca has designed an important role for him and Fonseca has trained young talents very well in the past.” he added.
His agent has also likened the qualities of the 20-year-old midfielder to Spurs legend Paul Gascoigne and believes that the Italian has the ability to do great things, no matter which club he is playing for.
Vigorelli also dropped in a reference towards Gascoigne, saying, “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 render and 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.”
Zaniolo is tipped to have a bright future in football, both for club and country. After his breakout season last year, he will now look to play an important role on the Roma squad this year, with the club eager to get back into the Champions League.