According to reports, West Ham United have joined Leicester City and Everton in the race to sign Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaro. New Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini is looking to strengthen his squad in the summer so that they can challenge for a European spot next season.
Pellegrini, who guided Manchester City to the Premier League title in the 2013/14 season, is gearing up for his second managerial stint in England. The Chilean manager is likely to influence a few prolific names to join his project at the London Stadium, and the recent rumours surrounding Sturaro must excite the West Ham fans.
The Italy international is highly rated back in his country but his progress has been halted significantly due to lack of opportunities at Juventus. The central midfielder, who was signed by the Italian champions from Genoa four years back, has featured sporadically for the Bianconeri.
Juventus already have the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira, Blaise Matuidi and Rodrigo Bentancur as their preferred midfield options, whereas the latest addition of Emre Can on a free transfer from Liverpool will send Sturaro further down the pecking order in Turin.
Juventus could look to part ways with him for around €20m – a significantly low amount in today’s inflated transfer market.
West Ham are in the market for a midfield star, having failed to conclude a deal for Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho last summer. The talks of a permanent move for Joao Mario, their winter loanee from Inter Milan, has cooled down of late. Also, Paris Saint-Germain star Javier Pastore’s high wage demands could scupper his move to West Ham.
As a result, the Hammers have turned their attention towards Sturaro. Leicester City and Everton are also interested in the Italian which could possibly start a bidding war in coming days, and West Ham, a club with enough financial stability, must lure the player to east London.
The fitness of Pedro Obiang has been a concern for the Hammers, who are left with skipper Mark Noble, Edmilson Fernandes and Cheick Kouyate as their only regular midfield options. Sturaro is not known for his creative aspect but his hard work and tireless movements will allow him to settle into Pellegrini’s plans.
West Ham are set to miss out star sensation Manuel Lanzini for months following his heartbreaking ACL injury with Argentina prior to his maiden World Cup campaign. Sturaro, hence, would be a shrewd business in a bargain fee and the Hammers must make a move at the earliest to strike a deal.