West Ham are set to make the trip to Genoa to complete the signing of Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria in the summer, according to reports, but could they be visiting the wrong side of the Italian port city?
Sportitalia have suggested the Hammers have put forward a bid of around €6.5m for the 23-year-old, with his club holding out for a fee closer to €8m.
There is no doubting that the six-foot-plus midfielder is a talented performer, adding plenty of bite to the Blucerchiati midfield, helping them to fifth in the Serie A table.
However, with Cheikhou Kouyate filling the role of the hard-hitting, physical presence in the centre of the park for Sam Allardyce’s side, they may be better off raiding Sampdoria’s city rivals.
A performance against Manchester City last weekend that showed no ambition and left Carlton Cole isolated up front, exposed West Ham’s desperate need for a creative link between the midfield and strikers.
That necessity for additional flair at the Boleyn Ground could be filled by Genoa’s Andrea Bertolacci.
With two goals to his name this season, the 24-year-old is capable of chipping in his fair share, but his main skill seems to be setting them up for others.
The twice-capped Italy international has provided six assists for il Grifone in the league this season, that has seen them up to seventh, with an outside chance of qualifying for Europe.
Do that, and West Ham may not provide a desirable switch for Bertolacci, but should they just miss out, the Hammers could do far worse than enquiring about bringing him to the Premier League.
His current club paid Roma €1.2m for the remaining 50 per cent of his rights back in 2012, and while his value has undoubtedly increased in the meantime, it would be surprising if Big Sam couldn’t convince Genoa to part with him for less than Obiang would cost.
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