Nicolo Zaniolo has put an end to the transfer speculation surrounding him by signing a new five-year contract with AS Roma.
The Giallorossi announced the news on Wednesday. Zaniolo said it was an easy decision to put pen to paper.
The 20-year-old was strongly linked to Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus earlier this summer, per Football.London's Amie Wilson and Phil Spencer. Per Il Tempo (h/t Metro), Manchester United were also interested, but the youngster didn't leave for England before the Premier League's transfer window slammed shut.
Zaniolo only joined Roma in 2018 but had a major breakout season in the capital.
He arrived as part of the deal that took Radja Nainggolan to Inter Milan, a deal that has to be considered one of the worst in recent Italian football. Just one year later, Nainggolan is at Cagliari on loan, while Zaniolo has gone from a throw-in to one of the most valuable youngsters in Serie A.
The league's official YouTube account did a comparison video with Fiorentina's Federico Chiesa, another top prospect:
Zaniolo started 20 Serie A matches in his first season with Roma, scoring four goals and adding two assists. The versatile midfielder did his best work in an advanced role, and while he had his struggles and cooled off toward the end of the campaign, the potential he flashed led to all the exit speculation.
Like United star Paul Pogba, Zaniolo combines excellent size―190 cm―with deceptive athleticism and good technical ability. He can get out of tight spots with a simple turn, reads the play well and is always dangerous in and around the box.
The youngster spent part of his academy days with Genoa, Fiorentina and Virtus Entella and has already played for three clubs during his professional career. Some stability can only help his development, so it's no surprise he has chosen to sign a new deal with Roma.
The Giallorossi gave him his chance last season and will most likely build their squad around their star midfielder in the coming years.