As Nicolo Zaniolo is certainly celebrating his 23rd birthday in style on this day, July 2, where he will be playing his football next season is still very much up in the air. As the summer has gone on, the contract extension standoff hasn’t been anything close to resolved, thus causing plenty of speculation about who could potentially swoop in and sign Roma’s star talent.
The speculation isn’t going to slow down now.
According to Italian transfer reporter Nicolo Schira on Saturday, Juventus and Zaniolo’s representation have agreed to the framework of personal terms on a contract through 2027 worth €4 million net a season plus potential bonuses. That’s the part of the game that almost always comes before the actual negotiations between the two clubs are done, with Roma very much still holding strong on wanting in the neighborhood of €50 million to sign Zaniolo this summer.
Although, the change from previous reporting is something that Schira added at the end of a tweet posted that reported the personal terms agreement — Roma have opened the door for a potential deal that is an initial loan with an obligation to buy. That would fall in line with Juventus’ big signings from the last two summer transfer windows with Federico Chiesa and Manuel Locatelli.
#Juventus working to sign Nicolò #Zaniolo from #ASRoma. #Juve have reached an agreement in principle with Zaniolo and his agent Claudio Vigorelli for a contract until 2027 (€4M/year + bonuses). #Roma still ask €50M to sell him and have opened to the formula of loan + obligation https://t.co/pXDkTv1qHb— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) July 2, 2022
Zaniolo, who has balked at signing a new contract with Roma despite multiple attempts for him to get to extend his stay in the Italian capital, has reportedly been a top transfer target for months now. How much has to do with Paulo Dybala leaving the club isn’t exactly sure, but Juventus are clearly in need of attacking options no matter what formation Max Allegri wants to go with after Dybala, Alvaro Morata and Federico Bernardeschi all saw their contracts expire at the end of June. Throw in the complete uncertainty that comes with Moise Kean’s future at Juve as well and you’ve got plenty of holes that need to be filled.
Juve’s chief rival for Zaniolo appears to be AC Milan, with Tottenham and their management team full of former Juventus and Serie A folks also rumored to be looming in the background. But getting personal terms essentially done is a sign that Juve are very much in the lead to try and sign the incredibly talented yet injury bitten 23-year-old Italian.
But as was the case with Chiesa and Locatelli, if Zaniolo only has his eyes on Juventus — and I’m not sure if we’ve gotten that indication just yet from the Italian media — then there’s probably not a lot that Roma can do when it comes to trying to keep him around past the summer months.
And if that’s the case, then agreeing to personal terms is just the first bit that we’ll hear about Zaniolo and Roma over the next few weeks. (Then again, who are we kidding? There’s bound to be rumors about his future no matter what happens this summer.)