Runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool have been linked with Nicolo Zaniolo as the wonderkid’s current club Roma face a possible firesale amid mounting debts.
20-year-old Zaniolo is one of Europe’s hottest young talents, having joined Roma from Inter in the summer of 2018 as a makeweight in a deal that saw Radja Nainggolan go the other way.
The attacking midfielder has since scored 12 goals in 58 games for the Giallorossi, catching the eye with his flair and creativity.
Though sidelined with an anterior cruciate ligament injury since January, Zaniolo remains one of Roma’s top assets and, as such, could be up for grabs in the near future, with the club’s finances in a precarious state.
As noted by Football Italia, Roma posted debts of €278.5m in their annual accounts, while takeover talks are on the rocks, putting increased pressure on the club’s finances.
Il Tempo claim that the likes of Alessandro Florenzi, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Cengiz Under are among those at risk of being sold to raise cash, while Roma can ‘no longer afford’ to keep Zaniolo’s name out of the transfer market in the current circumstances.
*Opens Twitter* sees Zaniolo linked with Liverpool
*Closes Twitter & goes back to bed*
— Max Cooper (@MaxCooper5) May 17, 2020
The report then claims that Juventus and Liverpool are both interested in the young star who is valued at €80m (£71.5m) – at least in a pre-coronavirus world.
It is noted that Liverpool have not made Zaniolo – who would likely be forced to compete with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah for a starting berth at Anfield – a priority, but rather that he is simply on their list potential future targets.
Liverpool do have history of signing Roma’s best, having previously done deals with the club for Salah (2017) and Alisson Becker (2018), with Il Tempo noting that the Reds have become ‘hated’ among the Giallorossi fans.
Premier League eyes were on Timo Werner as he returned to action this afternoon ?
— 90min (@90min_Football) May 16, 2020
In other news, the Reds’ supposed top transfer target Timo Werner will stay put at RB Leipzig this summer if a deal to join Liverpool cannot be reached.
The Germany forward and the Reds have flirted for some time – amid interest from other clubs including Barcelona and Chelsea – but the current pandemic threatens to put all big-money spending from the Champions League holders on ice.