Report: Chelsea linked with a move for 23-year-old AS Roma star

Transfer News: Chelsea are linked with a move for AS Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo

As per a tweet from Blue_Footy, via FootballItalia (h/t Football.London), Chelsea have joined the race with Juventus and Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur to sign AS Roma’s attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo.

Earlier in this summer transfer window, there were suggestions that the Blues are targeting a move for the Italian international by offering Christian Pulisic in the deal for a straight player swap. However, nothing in that direction has materialised so far.

There is no smoke without fire and Chelsea might harbour some genuine interest in the Italian star. Zaniolo is one of the top young talents across Europe, hence tracked by the other two big clubs in Juventus and Tottenham.

The 23-year-old’s contract at Roma expires in two years’ time, the last time he signed an extension was in the summer of 2019 (Transfermarkt).

Positionally, Zaniolo can not only operate as an attacking midfielder but also as a central midfielder and as a wide forward. He is very good on the ball and can score or create chances. Injuries have curtailed his young career, but last season was a welcome relief for him in terms of remaining fit.

Eight goals and nine assists in 42 appearances in all competitions in 2021/22, playing mostly as a right winger or a number 10, is a decent return. One of those goals was a match-winning one in a Europa Conference League final.

Chelsea are linked with a move for AS Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo.
Nicolo Zaniolo has the potential to be a good signing for Chelsea

If Chelsea are really targeting him for a move this summer, it would be interesting to know where Thomas Tuchel would fit him in the line-up. Maybe as one of the advanced midfielders or as an inside forward on either side of a centre-forward.

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There is no doubting Zaniolo’s quality though and he still has plenty of years left in him to deliver at the highest stage. A move to Chelsea for him would be an upgrade club-wise. Playing in the Champions League and hopefully fighting for silverware may get the best out of him.