West Ham United are among the leading candidates to sign Andrea Belotti this summer…
That’s according to Italian publication Tuttomercatoweb, who claim the 28-year-old striker will leave Torino on a free transfer at the end of the season, though there are three other teams mooted with interest.
These are mentioned by the report as being Premier League rivals Newcastle United, Atalanta and Fiorentina.
They have also relayed comments from Torino president Urbano Cairo, who said:
“Belotti? He may have already signed up for another club. Maybe he could also tell us, but that’s okay. Let’s say that from February 1st he was free to sign, theoretically, he could even have done so … Disappointed? I no longer speak of this issue.”
By signing Belotti, the Irons’ head of recruitment Rob Newman could finally end one of David Moyes’ long-serving nightmares at the London Stadium.
It’s been over a year since Sebastien Haller’s exit from the club after the club-record flop joined Ajax in January 2021 and that’s a decision that left the Scottish head coach awfully light on options.
Indeed, he’s only had Michail Antonio available at his disposal and we know too well of his chequered injury past, whilst his form this campaign – particularly in 2022 – has been called into question.
But that’s hardly a surprise when you’re relying on a 31-year-old to deliver each and every week across multiple competitions without a break.
His only league goal this calendar year came on New Year’s Day, some 14 games ago, but he has no backup and no other alternative, so Moyes has to continually select him.
Belotti could be the perfect competition given his prolific goalscoring record in Italy. The Euro 2020 winner has bagged 110 goals in 247 appearances for the Turin-based side, including a season-best of 28 during the 2016/17 campaign, via Transfermarkt.
“Andrea is similar to all the great strikers, English and not. It’s hard to compare him to someone else because he’s special,” once claimed his former teammate Joe Hart to renowned journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
“He’s Belotti and that’s it. He has [an] instinct for goals, personality and he’s a team player: he’s always focused on his team and plays hard to help it.”
High praise indeed from someone who faced the 5 foot 11 tank every day in training.
Now valued at £25.2m by Transfermarkt, the Hammers could well seal an absolute bargain in Belotti and given his talismanic-like record, he’d be a much welcome and much-needed addition to Moyes’ squad heading into next season, where they could well remain in Europe.