West Ham have been given a clear run to sign Andrea Belotti in 2022, according to emerging reports…
What’s the word?
The long-serving Torino talisman was a tentative target for Irons boss David Moyes throughout the summer, with even the reliable ExWHUemployee mooting the club with interest at one stage.
And now it appears the 28-year-old forward will be available for nothing from January as he will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with any team outside of Italy, thus opening the door for the east Londoners to strike.
Should West Ham move for Andrea Belotti?
“Andrea Belotti has chances to leave Torino as [a] free agent next summer, as things stand now,” revealed transfer expert Fabrizio Romano earlier this week. “He’s out of contract in June 2022 and he has not accepted yet last Torino proposal to extend [his] current deal.”
Back in May, some reports in Italy suggested the Hammers were even the ‘front-runners’ to seal Belotti’s signature, so he’s certainly a player on their radar.
The Irons were merely one striker away from achieving a very successful summer transfer window. It is the one position they still lack considerable depth in and it absolutely has to be the top priority for new head of recruitment Rob Newman.
Moyes only has one senior centre-forward at the club in Michail Antonio, 31, who has suffered from his fair share of injury problems throughout his time at West Ham. Indeed, he hasn’t started more than 24 league games across the past four seasons, largely due to those aforementioned issues.
He missed the Hammers’ first defeat of the season through suspension and his presence was sorely missed in the final third.
Without him, it means the Scottish coach has to turn to someone like Jarrod Bowen to play out of position, which seems like a crazy scenario to be left in considering they are vying for a top-six finish and are competing in the Europa League this season.
Belotti on a free would not only solve this massive quandary but also save GSB and the club millions.
The Italy international, who won Euro 2020 this summer, has proven to be a prolific goalscorer in the Serie A over several years, hitting double figures in every campaign since 2015/16, including a career-best of 28 goals in 2016/17, as per Transfermarkt.
Former Premier League shot-stopper Joe Hart played with Belotti during a loan stint in Turin and waxed lyrical about the talismanic forward to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
“Andrea is similar to all the great strikers, English and not. It’s hard to compare him to someone else because he’s special. 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.”
Considering he is valued at £31.5m by Transfermarkt, Newman could secure West Ham an absolute bargain and at the same time, fix one of Moyes’ ongoing nightmares in one fell swoop.
Belotti is there for the taking and the Irons would be foolish to not make their move again.