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Chelsea set to rival Man United for AS Roma starlet Nicolo Zaniolo



Chelsea are linked with a move for AS Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo.

Transfer News: Chelsea set to rival Man United for Nicolo Zaniolo

According to Italian news outlet Calciomercato, Chelsea are set to battle it out with Manchester United for the transfer of AS Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo.

The 21-year-old came through the youth ranks at Genoa and Fiorentina before switching to Entella from where he signed for Inter Milan in 2017.

However, having stayed for just one year at the club, the attacking midfielder moved to Roma, where he broke out as the next big thing in Italian football. Indeed, Zaniolo made rapid strides both at club level as well as international level, becoming a key player for Roma and Italy.

Zaniolo has struggled with injuries in the last two seasons
Zaniolo has struggled with injuries in the last two seasons

However, back to back ACL injuries have halted the 21-year-old’s development with Zaniolo yet to play a single game in the 2020/21 campaign.

But that doesn’t seem to have affected his stock in Europe as a number of clubs remain interested in him. Among the clubs keen on the 21-year-old are Chelsea and Manchester United.

As it is, Chelsea have a stockpile of attacking midfielders at their disposal in Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Mason Mount while Timo Werner has also been used as a hybrid attacking-midfielder-cum-striker at times by Thomas Tuchel.

Then there are three players out on loan in the form of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Conor Gallagher, who will return to the club at the end of the season. So, quite how the Blues plan to fit Zaniolo into the side is a puzzle.

Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher cntinues to impress at West Bromwich Albion
Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher continues to impress at West Bromwich Albion

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But the 21-year-old possesses the versatility of being able to play as a No. 10 or a No. 8 or even out on the wings as well. Given the potential that he has shown and with age on his side, Zaniolo can grow into a superstar if he puts his injury woes behind him.

The seven-time capped Italy international is expected to return to action after Easter. Based on how he fares between then and the end of the season, Chelsea may consider acting upon their reported interest in the youngster.

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