Regardless of what club you support, hot prospects are interesting things. Every club wants to have as many of them as possible, yet once they’re signed, most clubs have them ride the pine until an injury pops up. Once a prospect really starts to shine, suddenly the entire world knows their name and the super-clubs call up your Director of Sport, trying to find the cheapest way to make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Nicolo Zaniolo is currently residing in the “everyone knows your name” stage of becoming a globally-recognized wonderkid. That goal against Sassuolo certainly helped, but even before that his stock had been rising, particularly due to starts against Real Madrid in the Champions League. Some may argue that, for all his potential, he’s a little overhyped at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that the suitors for his signature aren’t going to start calling Monchi up on a daily basis.
Enter Arsenal and Real Madrid. Both Los Blancos and, um, The Gunners (sorry, it’s just not as good of a name) are now said to be vying for Zaniolo’s services. Reports from England sy that Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been in contact with Zaniolo’s agent, while Monchi has already rejected Real’s first bid for the Tuscan Talent. Sprinkle in a couple of other clubs who have been linked to Zaniolo, including Chelsea, and your typical Roma fan is going to start cracking wise about A.S. Supermarket being open for business.
However, all isn’t lost just yet. Monchi has already stated that one of his main goals for the next few months is to renew Zaniolo first, prioritizing him even over Kostas Manolas. This may be a concerning signal for those who want the Greek defender to stay in Rome in the long term, but it also shows how much value Monchi places in Zaniolo. Monchi has admitted that he didn’t think Zaniolo could be decisive on the senior level as quickly as he has been, but that doesn’t mean he will sell off the diamond in the rough Roma received in the Radja Nainggolan deal at the first sign of a couple million euros. With Gianluca Di Marzio reporting that Roma see Zaniolo as “a big part of the squad” and intend to hand him a bigger paycheck soon, Romanisti should rest easy knowing that even if Zaniolo leaves Rome some day, he probably won’t be leaving in the near future.
Or at least, that’s the hope.