The lowdown: Long-standing target
The Hammers have had Belotti on their radar for some time now having initially been linked in May 2021, but any move has failed to materialise and the dangerous frontman has since become a free agent following the expiry of a contract at Torino.
Mega-rich Premier League rivals Newcastle United have also recently been indexed to the 28-year-old Italy international, who directly contributed to 141 goals in 251 outings whilst at Torino, where he was club captain.
Now, despite the stepping up of the pursuit for Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca, it appears as though the Irons could still harbour ambitions of bringing Belotti to the London Stadium…
The latest: Outlet shares Belotti update…
It’s claimed that Belotti is also a target for Borussia Dortmund as the Bundesliga giants have been left ‘scrambling’ for a new striker after ex-Hammer Sebastien Haller was diagnosed with a testicular tumour last week.
The report also states that Turkish quartet Galatasaray, Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor are all in the mix to sign the man who was heralded as ‘unstoppable’ by football talent scout Jacek Kulig in 2020.
The verdict: No brainer
Still holding a perceived market value of £18million despite being without a club (Transfermarkt), signing Belotti for nothing would be a sensational piece of business from the West Ham hierarchy regardless of whether or not the Scamacca deal can be completed.
In fact, linking up the two compatriots in east London would give David Moyes the wealth of options required to maintain a serious push at the business end of each and every competition, whilst also allowing Michail Antonio to get much-needed rest having previously been heavily relied upon.
Last season, Belotti endured a challenging campaign with injuries and subsequently only managed eight goals and one assist in 23 appearances across all competitions as a result.
Despite the fitness woes and drop off in goal output compared to his usual levels however, the bull-like combative Italian frontman still managed to earn a superb 7.08 Sofascore rating whilst taking 2.6 shots and winning 5.8 duels per game – outperforming defenders Angelo Ogbonna (3.5) and Craig Dawson (4.1) in terms of duels.
Those battling qualities, physical presence and imposing stature, combined with a clinical eye for goal, make Belotti a no-risk option for GSB with just wages to worry about and it would be remiss of recruitment chief Rob Newman to not make an offer at this stage.
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