West Ham ponder January transfer for controversial €10m striker

Date published: Thursday 16th August 2018 12:47

West Ham are monitoring the situation of Nice striker Mario Balotelli, according to a report in France.

L’Equipe claims the Hammers are following developments regarding the Italian and could make a January move for him if the striker has not found a deal before then.

Arsenal were linked with a move for the player in May, with Gazzetta dello Sport claiming that the Gunners could make a bid for Balotelli with Borussia Dortmund and Marseille also thought to be interested.

Marseille reportedly remain interested in the 27-year-old, along with Napoli and Torino and all three clubs have until the end of the month to get a deal done for the Italian.

Balotelli was initially understood to be available on a free transfer this summer, but it has been made clear the former Liverpool and Man City man has 12 months still to run.

Nice are refusing to sell him for less than €10million and that has been prohibitive despite Balotelli hitting 33 goals in 51 Ligue 1 games over the last two seasons.

In April Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola, quoted in The Sun said: “Mario is ready to return. He has matured and is one of the top ten strikers in the world.

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“In Italy, he is number one. He is worth €100m (£87m), but his contract is expiring, so he will be a bargain.

“I am negotiating with clubs in England and Italy. I have spoken to Juventus, Roma, Napoli and Inter Milan.”

But Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere claimed that Balotelli would not leave on a free.

“For Balotelli, we still haven’t talked to Raiola. He won’t leave for nothing, that’s out of order [to have said that]!” Rivere told RMC.

 

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