Newcastle United have been linked with Roma sensation Nicolo Zaniolo. According to The Chronicle, Newcastle have scouted Zaniolo ahead of what could become a potential marquee signing.
Zaniolo is highly rated by Roma, where he has five goals and provided two assists from midfield in 27 games this season.
The 19-year-old is a regular for the Serie A outfit despite still being a teenager and comparisons have been made between him and Manchester United star Paul Pogba.
In an interview with Italian media outlet Corriere della Sera, Italy manager Roberto Mancini talked up Zaniolo’s talents, having watched him in action for Italy’s youth teams.
Mancini said: “The comparison with Pogba is there. But now he needs calm and patience. He too could get into trouble.”
This is high praise for a teenage midfielder and it shows just how talented he can be; with power, pace and technical ability, the youngster has the full package.
Zaniolo might have been compared to Pogba but he would like to see himself as the next Francesco Totti.
Newcastle are not the first club to be interested in the Italy under-21 starlet and he has previously dismissed speculation by stating his loyalty to Roma.
Zaniolo told Le Iene that he wants to stay with Roma for his whole career, just as Totti did. Totti spent nearly 30 years on Roma’s books, playing just shy of 800 games and scoring over 300 goals.
Newcastle’s hopes of signing Zaniolo are surely damaged by his desire to become the next Totti.