Jose Mourinho confirms Nicolo Zaniolo ‘unfortunately’ staying after snubbing Bournemouth
Nicolo Zaniolo is poised to stay at Roma after snubbing Bournemouth, his manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed.
The Portuguese boss said it was “unfortunate” that the Italian midfield would likely continue his career in the eternal city, despite the Cherries tabling an offer in the region of €30m (£26.3m) for the 23-year-old.
Bournemouth had identified Zaniolo after encountering trouble signing Nicolas Jackson, 21, from Villarreal.
“Zaniolo has been saying for a month that he wants to leave. Unfortunately, it looks like I was right,” said Mourinho, who predicted the player wouldn’t leave due to offers being “unworthy” of both the player and the club. “I say unfortunately, because the player has been saying for a month that he wants to leave. If a player tells everyone he no longer wants to wear the Roma jersey, I have to say unfortunately.
“When a player tells you, the club and his teammates: ‘I don’t want to wear the Roma jersey, I don’t want to play, I don’t want to go back to training…’ I have to say unfortunately. The ideal situation is for the player to be happy. I said that I expected him to stay, but as things stand today, I have to add unfortunately to that sentence.”
Elsewhere, as we approach deadline day next week, the Mail reports Blackburn striker Ben Brereton Diaz has agreed to join Villarreal in the summer on a free transfer. The 23-year-old Chile international is out of contract at Ewood Park at the end of the season.
Manchester United are looking to send 19-year-old English forward Charlie McNeill, Dutch defender Bjorn Hardley, 20, and English defender Di’Shon Bernard, 22, out on loan in the January transfer window. According to the Manchester Evening News, talks are underway over a number of potential exits, with an emphasis on matching players with a club where they will get regular playing time in the second-half of the season.
Arsenal are said to be still hoping to sign a central midfielder before the transfer window shuts on Tuesday, with Everton’s Amadou Onana, 21, emerging as a potential option for Mikel Arteta. The Daily Express reports that the Gunners have been scouring the market for a midfielder to bolster their ranks as the Premier League leaders try to protect their five-point lead over Manchester City.
Players to watch
Pedro Porro: 90 min reports that Tottenham are confident that a deal for the 23-year-old Sporting Lisbon and Spain defender will be finalised in the coming days after difficulties in negotiations over his release clause.
Tariq Lamptey: The same outlet says Sporting have enquired about the availability of the 22-year-old Brighton right-back to replace Porro, with Lyon also reportedly interested.
PA contributed to this report