Tottenham eyeing up ‘next Christian Eriksen’ as Fabio Paratici turns to Serie A again

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Tottenham transfer chief Fabio Paratici is reportedly keen to bring Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo to north London in what could be another Serie A swoop overseen by the former Juventus sporting director. Zaniolo was on Spurs’ radar several years ago when he was tipped to replace Christian Eriksen after the Dane Joined Inter Milan. 

Paratici, alongside manager Antonio Conte, have seemingly earned the trust of the Spurs hierarchy with a solid run of results since January. They were landed with two Serie A stars on deadline day, Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, and both players have made a positive impact. 

Conte and Paratici may continue to use their Serie A expertise at the expense of Premier League rivals when the transfer window swings back open this summer. Calciomercato claim that Zaniolo is the latest Italian-based star that could be lured in three years after the club first registered an interest. 

Paratici reportedly kept tabs on Zaniolo while sporting director at Juve, and his admiration has refused to budge since taking up a job in the Premier League. The Lilywhites would face huge competition for his signature, however, with Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and AC Milan all poised to try their luck on the youngster who could set them back up to £59million.

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Zaniolo’s Roma contract expires in 2024, and he is thought to want a significant bump up in salary. Spurs could use that to their advantage and table a tempting offer for the 22-year-old, whose head may be turned if the Giallorossi are unwilling to cough up. 

Back in 2019 he was reported to be on Spurs’ radar with a view to sliding him in as Eriksen’s long-term replacement. The silky Dane spent six seasons with the club, establishing himself as their key creative spark before moving on to the San Siro. Being lined up to replace such a coveted player is a testament to Zaniolo’s talent. 

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There is even talk that Eriksen could return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer after sparkling on his Premier League comeback with Brentford. The 30-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 last summer and took significant time off to recover and return to club football. 

Zaniolo has gradually worked his way up the pitch under Roma boss Jose Mourinho, now featuring regularly as a central striker, although his tally of two league goals and two assists is somewhat underwhelming this campaign. That being said, the versatile 6ft 3in youngster is expected to kick on again and could slot into one of numerous roles if Conte and Paratici press on with a summer move. 

Talk of friction between Zaniolo and Mourinho will be music to Tottenham ears. The Giallorossi may have to make a decision on the starlet’s future this summer before the risk of losing him for a meagre transfer sum, or even for free, grows too large. 

He has shone brightest in Europe this campaign, notching a hat-trick against Bodo/Glimt to take Roma through to the Conference League semi-finals last time out. 

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