Three reasons why West Ham should target controversial 26-year-old, contract ends in summer
COMMENT By Will Butcher
West Ham should look at giving Mario Balotelli his third spell in the Premier League as he continues to star for Nice in Ligue 1.
The 26-year-old has fired the ambitious French outfit to the top of the table this season, with an impressive return to form that has caught the eye following his woeful spell at Liverpool.
With his form rapidly returning, West Ham could end their striker problem by bringing in Balotelli:
Out of contract in the summer
Nice are yet to tie down their number nine despite his sparkling form and the Hammers could pounce in January.
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Available to talk to non-French clubs under the bosman ruling or potentially allowed to leave in January for a cut-price offer, West Ham could look to secure a bargain for the Italy international.
A small fee for Balotelli would suit the Hammers board after spending big in the summer on the likes of Andre Ayew, Manuel Lanzini and Arthur Masuaku.
Strikers Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri are yet to score for the Hammers this season after summer moves to east London, while Andy Carroll has top scored with just two.
Andre Ayew and Diafra Sakho have both struggled with injury and reinforcements are needed.
Former Inter Milan, AC Milan and Manchester City ace Balotelli must be considered by Slaven Bilic, as he continues his emphatic form.
Back to his best
The Premier League winner has scored 10 goals in 14 league and cup games for the Ligue 1 outfit, and would move to east London in top form if he was signed by the Hammers
With experience in England’s top flight, Balotelli would provide proven quality and ability to find the back of the net as Bilic’s unproven overseas recruits continue to struggle.
Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola has hinted that the striker is after a return to England, saying, “We’ve already had talks with English clubs, but it’s really too early to say. We want to keep it day-by-day with Mario.”
In other West Ham transfer news, Hammers have £8.5million bid rejected for Ligue 1 star.