West Ham United have received a massive boost in their pursuit of mooted transfer target Andrea Belotti this week…
The Irons were linked with a move for the Torino talisman throughout the summer as David Moyes searched for new frontline additions, and they could be able to sign him for nothing come to the end of the season.
Belotti’s contract is up at the Serie A outfit and it has since been revealed that the 27-year-old centre-forward will not be signing an extension in Turin, according to quotes relayed by Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
“Italian striker Andrea Belotti is prepared to leave Torino as [a] free agent in June. Torino manager Ivan Juric confirms: ‘Belotti won’t sign the contract extension,'” he tweeted.
“‘Andrea is not gonna leave in January. He’ll decide his future in June’, Juric added.”
The Hammers did not go and sign Belotti during the summer but the problem still remains. Michail Antonio (31) is Moyes’ only senior option in the striker position and he has been rather injury-prone for many a season now.
It’s a risky game to play considering that his side are unbeaten in the Europa League, where they seem sure to go on and progress into the knockout stages.
An injury or setback to Antonio could seriously curtail their chances of success in that competition, as well as the Premier League, where they are currently in fourth place.
Considering that Belotti is valued at £31.5m by Transfermarkt, getting him on a free transfer would be an absolute steal from Rob Newman in his new role as West Ham’s head of recruitment.
Similarly, the Euro 2020 winner has a very prolific goalscoring record, having bagged double figures in every season since 2015/16, including a career-best of 28 goals in 2016/17.
Former Irons shot-stopper Joe Hart enjoyed a loan spell at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino and waxed lyrical about Belotti’s ability, claiming that he was like no other striker in Europe.
“Andrea is similar to all the great strikers, English and not,” he told Gianluca Di Marzio. “It’s hard to compare him to someone else because he’s special. He’s Belotti and that’s it. He has instinct for goals, personality and he’s a team player: he’s always focused on his team and plays hard to help it.”
It would be inexcusable for the east Londoners to not try and secure Belotti in 2022. He could well be a very cheap but reliable fix to their attacking depth issues.