West Ham United boss David Moyes has reportedly snubbed the chance to sign Italian striker Andrea Belotti, despite the Hammers’ lack of centre-forward options.
As per trusted source ExWHUemployee, the east Londoners have shunned the option of signing the 28-year-old this summer, despite the Torino man set to be available on a free transfer once his contract expires at the end of June.
Asked whether Moyes and co had actually turned down a move for the 44-cap international, the club insider revealed that the London Stadium outfit had in fact opted against making the switch: “Yes was told that a while ago”.
That news will certainly not go down well with the club’s support, with many desperate to see a quality striker added to the squad this summer, in order to help shoulder the goalscoring burden alongside current number nine, Michail Antonio.
The Jamaica international has led the line impressively in recent years, although failed to sustain his early goalscoring form last term, eventually scoring just three league goals in 2022 – two of which came in the final three games of the season.
The 32-year-old has himself admitted the need for additional, centre-forward competition, yet at present the Irons have been unable to secure a suitable target, with the void left behind by Sebastien Haller still yet to be filled – 18 months on from his exit.
Having reportedly made a bid for Liverpool-bound Darwin Nunez back in January, the belief now is that Moyes is unwilling to break the bank for a new striker this summer, with one report suggesting that the club’s “best hope” of signing a striker is now Clermont’s Mohamed Bayo.
The Scotsman’s decision then to spurn the chance to sign a seasoned international in the form of Belotti appears to make little sense, particularly with the former Palermo man available to be signed for nothing, ensuring a relative risk-free deal for the club.
Once dubbed “better than Gabriel Bastituta” by coaching icon Fabio Capello, the £64k-per-week gem may not quite have lived up to the hype in recent years, although it is hard to argue with his outstanding goalscoring record, having scored 113 goals in 251 games in all competitions for his current side.
With a further 12 goals in 44 games at international level, the £18m-rated ace is clearly a proven goalscorer, hence the fury among supporters that the Hammers have passed up the chance to bring him to the club.
Such players don’t come available too often, especially not for free.