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Rumour Mongering: Reds Battle Juventus and Atleti for Roma’s Zaniolo

Transfer chatter out of Italy has Nicolò Zaniolo in demand and the Reds interested in the 22-year-old.

Nicolo Zaniolo of As Roma looks on during the Coppa Italia... Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images

Having made their big attacking signing six months early by beating Tottenham to the signing of exciting Colombian winger Luis Diaz from Porto in the final days of the January transfer window, Liverpool’s summer business is expected to be in midfield.

To that end, in the weeks since the window closed it’s perhaps no surprise the Reds have begun to be linked with more midfielders by the rumour mongers, and today brings with it a new name for the list: Roma 22-year-old attacking midfielder Nicolò Zaniolo.

For Liverpool’s purposes, though, attacking could be key, as Zaniolo appears suited to a role with the Reds most similar to Harvey Elliott—and expected signing Fabio Carvalho. Which is to say he doesn’t appear the flavour of midfielder they actually might need.

Still, it’s the story out of Italy, at least, with CalcioMercato and others claiming that they’re one of three European powers sniffing around Zaniolo, whose current contract runs through the summer of 2024 and who has so far resisted Roma’s efforts at a new deal.

The other interested parties are said to be Atletico Madrid and Juventus, and while Zaniolo to Liverpool is a new-for-2022 link, he has been rumoured to be on the radar for Jürgen Klopp and the Reds’ indomitable analytics and recruitment department before.

Back in 2020, Roma were in a spot of financial bother and then 20-year-old Zaniolo was linked with the Reds as a way to balance the books—with then Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren also rumoured to potentially be heading the other way as part of a deal.

Roma, who had recently sold Mohamed Salah and Alisson Becker to Liverpool, in the end didn’t have to add Zaniolo to the list of players sold to the English club to balance the books then. Now we’ll get to find out if, two years later, things play out differently.