By Dominic Toner
Fiorentina are interested in signing West Ham forward Simone Zaza, according to a report.
The Evening Standard claim that the Serie A club have lined up the 25-year-old as a replacement for Nikola Kalinic, who is close to a £42million switch to Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian.
It is understood that Fiorentina want Zaza on loan until the ed of the summer with an agreement to then buy him for £15million.
Zaza is currently on a season-long loan at West Ham from Juventus, but he has not played for the club since November 30 against Manchester United.
The Hammers manager Slaven Bilic admitted the striker will not play for them again and he is expected to leave in January.
The Mirror reported that West Ham would be obligate to pay Juventus £17million to sign Zaza on a permanent basis if he had made a certain number of appearances during his loan period.
Zaza has played a bit-part role for West Ham this season and failed to score in his 11 appearances, with eight of them coming in the Premier League.
Football Insider verdict:
West Ham have made it clear that they do not intend on using Zaza again as they do not wish to sign him on a permanent deal, so a loan switch to Fiorentina makes sense. The Italian striker has been a huge disappointment for the club and has failed to live up to expectations. He has struggle to adapt to the pace of the Premier League and a move back to Serie A will suit him. Zaza’s poor touch in front of goal showed as he failed to score in his 11 appearances for the Londoners. West Ham will need to strengthen their attacking options in January though as they can’t just rely on the injury-prone Andy Carroll for the remainder of the season.
In other West Ham transfer news, Tony Cottee claims that the club’s 29-year-old will leave if there are no improvements on the pitch.