By Will Butcher
Nikola Kalinic is poised to snub interest from Aston Villa and West Ham to remain at Fiorentina, according to a report.
The 28-year-old striker, who has a £42.6million release clause in his Fiorentina contract, is interesting a number of clubs ahead of January after the Serie A outfit turned down a move to China.
Italian outlet CorriereDelloSport claim that despite West Ham and Villa’s interest, Kalinic will remain a Fiorentina player.
The Croatia international will be remembered by English fans after a hugely disappointing spell at Blackburn during Rovers’ Premier League days.
He scored just 15 goals in 56 league and cup encounters for the Lancashire side before being shipped out to Ukraine giants Dnipro.
However, the former Hajduk Split striker has reinvigorated his career in Italy with Fiorentina, with 25 goals in 48 starts. This season, Kalinic has spearheaded Fiorentina’s attack with 12 striker in 24 outings.
West Ham are desperate for a new forward as summer recruits Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri struggle. Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho have all struggled with injury.
Steve Bruce’s Villa will also enter the January transfer market for a striker, with Jordan Ayew and Jonathan Kodjia both set to leave in January for the African Cup of Nations.
Football Insider verdict:
Both clubs should both be looking to sign a striker in January to add firepower in the final third. Although Kalinic’s goalscoring record in Italy has been magnificent, it must be remembered that he is playing in a side that is one of the best in Italy’s top tier and against defences that are not considered as strong as the Premier League’s. Villa must add a striker that can fire them into the England’s first division and keep them there, while West Ham need a forward that can hit the ground running as they look to avoid a relegation dog fight. Kalinic’s history in England is also a big talking point, and other strikers should be looked at before moving for Kalinic.
In other West Ham transfer news, why the Hammers should move for this Ligue 1 ace.