Nicolo Zaniolo’s agent has admitted that the Roma midfielder ‘enjoyed Tottenham Hotspur’s great interest’ over the summer.
Zaniolo was heavily linked with Tottenham as they sought a long-term No 8, but the Italy starlet ended up signing a new contract with the Giallorossi, while the Champions League finalists went for Giovani Lo Celso.
“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,” 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’s character has come under some scrutiny after he was recently left out of the Azzurri squad for tardiness, but Vigorelli did not hestitate to compare him to Spurs and Lazio icon Paul Gascoigne.
“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.
“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.”