Football FanCast guest columnist Frank Murphy feels that West Ham should issue Balotelli with a take it or leave it offer, so Zola can search for a Plan B if need be.
I know you can never look too much into pre-season friendlies and performances, but ours in China has given Zola a short sharp dose of reality that we are far from ready for the new season in terms of fitness and more significantly strength in depth. It is not often you see Zola ruffled, but after losing to the Spuds it is clear that the frustrations of failing to really add to the squad is playing heavily on his mind.
You can't blame him and it was only a few weeks back that Duxbury came out and suggested that we were closing in on a trio of top signings and with the exception of Jimenez, they have yet to reach fruition. This is no failing on the club's part as Zola revealed that he and has done everything in his powers to try and persuade Mario Balotelli to swap the San Siro for Upton Park this summer, but for whatever reason the striker is still stalling at the opportunity, which must be highly frustrating for Zola as he tries to prepare his squad for next season.
"I have done everything I can to sign Mario.
"It would be in both our interests if he came to West Ham. There's no place for him at Inter and he's a natural talent.
"He is extroverted and knows his attitude can upset people, but he's intelligent and still learning to handle situations." (SkySports)
Why Balotelli's reputation goes before him and is known as one of the hottest young talents in Italy, the time has surely come for Zola to set a deadline for the player to make a decision either way. I accept that he could be an absolute sensation at West Ham, but how long do you wait and should we really be putting all our eggs in one basket here? The new season is only two weeks away and we cannot rely solely on Cole to lead our line next season, so a decision has to be made either way to give us every chance of finding a Plan B.
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