“What I’d say is” – Transfer insider drops Zaniolo claim involving Leeds

Leeds United could make a move for AS Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo if Jack Harrison makes a deadline day departure, insider Dean Jones has claimed.

What’s the word?

Harrison has been linked with a move to Leicester, who are level on points with Leeds in the Premier League, and a replacement would be needed if he departs.

Zaniolo could leave Roma after a fallout with manager Jose Mourinho, and has been linked with a number of clubs including Tottenham Hotspur.

However, speaking to Football FanCast, Jones has claimed that Zaniolo could be an option for Leeds to replace the Englishman.

“If Harrison does end up leaving Leeds, then obviously opens up a spot in the squad. Zaniolo, I’m not sure about, I mean, he’s been linked with various teams,” he stated.

“What I’d say is, like Bournemouth are willing to pay30m for him, which a substantial amount of money to go and spend on deadline day out of the blue.

“So it depends what level of scouting these teams like Leeds and Tottenham have already done on Zaniolo, as to whether he’s actually attainable at the moment. The player’s head must be all over the place.

“He’s been looking for a transfer, he’s convinced it would happen. It hasn’t happened. People in Rome are not happy with the way he’s going about things. He’s kind of frozen out at the moment. He needs something to happen today.”

A more attacking option

Zaniolo would represent a more attack-minded midfield option than Harrison, ranking in the top 4% of midfielders for shots, and the top 20% for attacking penalty area touches as per FBref.

Harrison ranks significantly lower in both metrics, but also ranks in the top 8% of midfielders for tackles and blocks, making him a more well-rounded option.

With Weston McKennie coming in to play with Tyler Adams, Zaniolo could add goals to the side if Harrison departs and he settles quickly, but Leeds could be well served by not selling a key player to a potential relegation rival.


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