Chelsea boss Graham Potter is said to be close to agreeing a deal which could directly help Spurs or West Ham sign key target Nicolo Zaniolo.

London rivals Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham are almost perfectly dissecting the Premier League table into three parts this season.

Chelsea are struggling to find any kind of form or rhythm amid a crazy spending spree as they languish in mid-table under new boss Potter.

Tottenham got a win over Fulham on Monday night to breathe some life into their bid for a Champions League spot but are not the same side they once were.

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And West Ham may have got a first win in eight at the weekend but are in the thick of what looks set to be a season-long battle against relegation.

So the three clubs are looking to do deals in January for very different reasons.

West Ham and bitter rivals Tottenham were linked with mutual interest in a number of players in the summer.

And it seems Antonio Conte and David Moyes will lock horns in the transfer market again for another player this month.

Spurs and the Hammers have been heavily linked with a move for Roma outcast Zaniolo.

There has been claim and counter claim over who may, or may not, be leading the race for the the Italian playmaker’s signature after he fell out with Roma’s fans.

Udinese Calcio v AS Roma - Serie A
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But it is widely expected the reported West Ham and Spurs target will leave the capital club before next week’s deadline.

Chelsea – for a change – aren’t involved in this particular transfer tussle.

But the Blues may yet have a big say in the move.

Because Chelsea boss Potter is close to a deal which could directly help Spurs or West Ham sign key target Zaniolo.

Reports from Italy claimed Jose Mourinho is reluctant to let Zaniolo leave without having a replacement lined up.

According to the likes of The Sun, the first player Potter is shipping out at Chelsea is playmaker Hakim Ziyech – to Roma.

Talks over the move have already taken place with the Moroccan keen on the idea of working with Mourinho.

Chelsea FC v FC Salzburg: Group E - UEFA Champions League
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Should Roma get that deal done they will be open to letting Zaniolo join West Ham or Tottenham this month.

And the Serie A giants may even be willing to bend on their demands of a permanent move with both West Ham and Spurs having proposed loan deals with an option to buy.

West Ham actuallly put forward a rather unusual offer to Roma. According to Corriere dello Sport, the Hammers wanted the 23-year-old on loan from now up until January 2024 at which point there would be an obligation to buy him for €30 million (£26 million) but only if the east Londoners had 30 points under their belts in the Premier League by the end of December 2023.

Whether Roma will go for that now they have a real chance of signing Ziyech remains to be seen. But the impending deal certainly boosts the chances for Spurs and the Hammers in the Zaniolo stakes.


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