West Ham United are reportedly considering making a January loan swoop for Daniele Rugani, who is out of favour at Serie A outfit Juventus.
According to a report from Calciomercato.it, West Ham United’s search for defensive reinforcements in the January transfer window has taken them to Serie A giants Juventus, with Daniele Rugani emerging as a transfer target.
Rugani was once regarded as one of the brightest young defenders coming out of Italy. The centre-back came through the youth ranks at Empoli before making the jump to Juventus in 2015. However, in more than six years with the Bianconeri, the 27-year-old has managed to make just 105 appearances.
The seven-time capped Italian international finds himself behind Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt in the pecking order. Having not been part of the plans at the club last season, he spent the first half of the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Rennes and the second half at Cagliari but failed to make much of an impression.
The summer departure of Merih Demiral opened up a spot for him in the Juventus squad, but he continues to be overlooked by manager Massimiliano Allegri. Indeed, Rugani has featured just four times across all competitions, totalling up to only 188 minutes of action on the pitch. And West Ham are now hoping to take advantage of his situation by making a move for him in January.
The east London outfit have been forced into the market for reinforcements at centre-back after a couple of injuries over the past month. Angelo Ogbonna picked up an ACL injury last month and will likely miss the rest of the season. Summer signing Kurt Zouma hurt his hamstring this past weekend against Chelsea and is sidelined for 12 weeks at least.
It has left manager David Moyes with just two senior centre-back options in Issa Diop and Craig Dawson. With West Ham competing in Europe and in the hunt for a top-four finish, squad depth becomes important for the club. To that end, they are now scouring the market for a new centre-back.
A move for Liverpool’s Nathaniel Phillips has been touted while James Tarkowski of Burnley has also emerged as a target. In addition to that, long-term target Nikola Milenkovic is also back on the agenda for West Ham United, while there have been links to Torino’s Gleison Bremer as well.
Now, they are believed to have identified Rugani as a transfer target as well, although West Ham United will only look to sign the Italian defender on loan for the rest of the season. It remains to be seen if their pursuit of the Juventus defender yields the desired result, or they are forced to look elsewhere for reinforcements.