Jose Mourinho aims classic jibe at Nicolo Zaniolo
Jose Mourinho has admitted he has a serious problem on his hands when it comes to the future of Nicolo Zaniolo.
The 23-year-old attacking midfielder has been the subject of serious interest from Premier League side Bournemouth in recent weeks, with 90min sources confirming the club even spoke to the player directly.
However, Zaniolo has rejected the offer on the table from Bournemouth, while potential loan moves to AC Milan and Tottenham have broken down, making it increasingly likely the Italy international will remain at Roma at least until the end of this season.
It's safe to say his manager is not happy and, in typical Mourinho fashion, he didn't hold back in his public assessment of the situation.
“Zaniolo has been saying for a month that he wants to leave. Unfortunately, it looks like I was right,” Mourinho told reporters at a press conference.
“I say unfortunately, because the player has been saying for a month that he wants to leave. If a player tells everyone he no longer wants to wear the Roma jersey, I have to say unfortunately.
“The ideal situation is for the player to be happy. I said that I expected him to stay, but as things stand today, I have to add 'unfortunately' to that sentence.”
On this edition of Talking Transfers, Scott Saunders hosts Toby Cudworth & Graeme Bailey to discuss some of the latest transfer news. On today's agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more! If you can't see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!
Next up for Roma is a key clash against runaway Serie A leaders Napoli on Sunday. Zaniolo will be absent for that clash and Mourinho instantly dismissed his availability.
“He is not available, he is not part of the project," said Mourinho. "I must think exclusively about the next game, which is against Napoli."
Mourinho's side currently sit fifth in the table, but are level on points with both Inter and fierce rivals Lazio above them after a six-game unbeaten run.