West Ham have opened talks over a last-ditch move to sign Shandong Luneng forward Graziano Pelle with just days to go before the January transfer window slams shut, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claimed in their live transfer blog on Sunday [09:31am] that the Hammers have discussed a possible deal to snap up Pelle, 32, from the Chinese Super League as the former Southampton striker is eager on a return to Europe.
It is understood that the 20-times Italy international is earning a staggering £13.5million-a-year on his current deal in China and that he must take a considerable pay-cut in order to get a move he desires before Wednesday’s deadline.
The Mail adds that Pelle is open to the idea of reunited with his former Southampton team-mate Jose Fonte at West Ham.
Pelle made 80 total appearances during his spell with the Saints and scored 30 goals.
In China, the Italian centre-forward has not been as prolific, with 12 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions.
Football Insider verdict
Pelle was a decent player when he started off at Southampton but his goals gradually dried up before he eventually left. He’s a good player, but at 32-years-of-age, he may be well past his best. A season in China would have done nothing to help the Italian improve his game – all that would have done would have to seriously beef up his bank account. His wages at Shandong are ridiculous, but it seems that he is open to taking the pay-cut to move back to Europe. There’s no way West Ham would come anywhere near to paying that much for Pelle when their own top players are probably earning around the £100,000-a-week mark. With Andy Carroll, Javier Hernandez and Diafra Sakho still at the London Stadium though, David Moyes may not even have to make a move for a striker in the coming days.
In other West Ham news, this French forward wanted by the Irons has completed a £9.6million switch.