Premier League clubs Arsenal and West Ham United are set to go head-to-head in January for the signature of Torino striker Andrea Belotti, according to several reports in Italy.
According to a report in Sport Witness, London rivals Arsenal and West Ham United will enter the transfer market in the winter transfer window for a striker. Both clubs are interested in signing Italy international Andrea Belotti. The two Premier League sides reportedly even placed bids for the Torino striker in the summer before moving on to other targets.
Citing a report from Tuttosport, Sport Witness stated that West Ham had offered €30 million for Belotti before acquiring the services of Simone Zaza. Meanwhile, they also added that according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Arsene Wenger was ‘ready to spend €35 million’ on the 22-year-old striker, but was turned down by Torino. The Gunners instead went on to buy Spanish forward Lucas Perez before the summer transfer window slammed shut.
French striker Olivier Giroud has fallen down the pecking order and is seemingly out of favour with Arsene Wenger, who has opted for Alexis Sanchez as his first choice striker. The Frenchman has indicated that might be edging towards a move away from the North London club, with Napoli and AC Milan monitoring his situation.
Meanwhile, new signing Lucas Perez has been on the sidelines with an ankle ligament injury for the better part of the last two months and is yet to adapt to life in England. The fourth striker in Arsenal’s ranks, Danny Welbeck, is a long-term injury worry and will not play until next year.
While Sanchez has well and truly established himself in the centre forward role at Arsenal, having been prolific ever since he changed his position, the unavailability of Perez and Welbeck coupled with the unsettled Giroud puts Arsene Wenger in a spot of bother if the Chilean were to be unavailable.
This explains the club’s interest in Torino striker Belotti, who has scored eight times in 11 appearances for the club this season. The young forward has impressed for the national side as well, scoring three goals in five appearances for Italy, with the highlight being a man of the match performance against Germany on Tuesday.
West Ham United, meanwhile, are dealing with a striking crisis of their own, with Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho out with long-term injuries and Zaza failing to settle in. Summer arrival Andre Ayew has only just made a comeback from a thigh injury that sidelined the Ghanaian for three months.
In the absence of Carroll, Sakho and Ayew, manager Slaven Bilic played Michail Antonio as the number nine, but enjoyed little success, with Antonio scoring just once in six games playing furthest forward in the team.
Both Arsenal and West Ham United have reasons of their own to make a beeline for Andrea Belotti as the winter transfer window approaches, but they may be put off by the price tag placed on the 22-year-old by Torino. Gazzetta reported that the Serie A club valued him at ‘well beyond’ €40 million’, before adding that they will put a price tag of around €60 million on the Italy international.