Nicolo Zaniolo asked to be dropped from Roma’s upcoming Serie A clash with Spezia as he looks to push through a move away from the Italian capital.
The 23-year-old Italian forward only has 18 months left on his contract with the Giallorossi and there’s been no progress in the renewal negotiations, making this January a strong time for a sale. Once the golden boy of the Roma squad, Zaniolo’s stock has quickly started to fall in the Eternal City.
Zaniolo joined Roma from Inter in July 2018, being part of the swap deal that took Radja Nainggolan to the Lombardy capital. He impressed in his debut season, scoring four goals and providing three assists across 27 Serie A appearances, and 13 months after his arrival he penned a new contract with the club.
Unfortunately for Zaniolo and Roma, he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament rupture in January 2020, forcing him to the sidelines for over six months. He briefly returned later that year, but unluckily suffered another cruciate ligament rupture, ending his season just moments after it began.
The Italian forward finally returned to fitness in mid-2021 and was a key part of Jose Mourinho’s squad for that season, scoring eight goals and providing nine assists across 42 appearances, playing an important role in their Europa Conference League victory.
Heading into the summer of 2022, things looked to be on the up for Zaniolo, but things quickly started to spiral for the 23-year-old. With his contract expiring in 2024, Roma were keen to tie down the forward to a new deal, but his hefty salary demands pushed the club to consider offers for him, leaving him in a tough spot.
Zaniolo ultimately stayed with Roma but the lack of progress in contract renewal talks seemingly started to have an effect on his work on the pitch. His start of the season was disrupted by a shoulder injury and he failed to rediscover his form after returning, not contributing to a single goal in his first five games back.
Frustrations soon began to emerge and peaked after Roma’s 1-0 win over Genoa in the Coppa Italia on January 12, when he was loudly booed when coming off the pitch.
Now Zaniolo is looking to cut ties and leave Roma this month, asking to be dropped from the upcoming game with Spezia. Multiple Premier League clubs, including Tottenham, are interested in picking him up.