Mourinho would welcome Belotti arrival, wants Roma to keep Zaniolo

By Sports Desk August 21, 2022

Jose Mourinho revealed he would welcome Italy striker Andrea Belotti to Roma with open arms, as he outlined his desire to keep Nicolo Zaniolo at the Stadio Olimpico.

Belotti, a free agent since leaving Torino when his contract expired at the end of June, has been strongly linked with a move to Roma after scoring eight Serie A goals last season.

The 2021-22 campaign was the first in which Belotti had failed to hit double figures in the Italian top-flight since 2014-15, and reports have suggested he could arrive to provide competition for Giallorossi forwards Tammy Abraham and Paulo Dybala.

Asked ahead of Monday's game against Cremonese whether Roma would be signing another attacker, Mourinho said: "I do not answer, because the director Tiago Pinto already knows.

"I just have to wait with the hope that it can be done. If it cannot be done, we will go on with what we have.

"If Belotti were a player of Torino or of another team I would not answer. Being released, I do not have the ethical block of not saying anything, I can say something.

"If it is true, I repeat if it is true, that he wants so much to come to Roma, I would be happy to hear this kind of feeling. If he doesn't come, I don't know, let's wait and see."

While Belotti could join the likes of Dybala, Georginio Wijnaldum and Nemanja Matic in making the move to Roma, fellow forward Zaniolo has been tipped to leave throughout the transfer window.

Zaniolo scored the winner when Roma ended a 14-year trophy drought by winning the Europa Conference League in May but has been linked with Juventus.

Mourinho views the 23-year-old as a key player, adding: "He is doing very well. Physically he seems agile and fresh.

"If he stays here, it is a question for the director and not for me. If you ask me if I would like him to stay, I do not hide it and I say yes. He is important for us."

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