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West Ham, Newcastle in ‘front row’ for red-hot striker in demand in Italy

West Ham and Newcastle United are said to be heading the race for Spezia striker M’Bala Nzola but Italian clubs are also keen.

It was reported over the weekend that the Hammers held an interest in the 24-year-old. David Moyes is known to be in the market for a new hitman after letting Sebastian Haller join Ajax.

Calciomercato suggested on Sunday that Nzola was on their wish list but other players have also been linked. Watford’s Ismaila Sarr and RB Salzburg striker Patson Daka have been mentioned in connection with the East End outfit.

Newcastle are on the lookout for a forward but owner Mike Ashley has said Steve Bruce must seek loan deals. It is not known if Spezia would entertain a temporary switch.

Nzola has enjoyed a decent campaign to date, with nine goals from 13 Serie A appearances. The Frenchmen helped Aquilotti gain promotion from Serie B last term and has continued his fine form in 2020-2021.

He is a versatile front man, able to switch from striker to a role wide on the right. It seems as though the English duo face competition from a few Italian clubs.

Napoli had already been linked but now Sampdoria have been noted as having an interest. However, they want the player in the summer and not this month, handing others an advantage.

They are said to be watching him closely while AC Milan are another possible suitor. The report also states that West Ham and Newcastle are in the ‘front row’ for the player.

It remains to be seen if either make a move during what is a month full of spurious links.

Options for Moyes

The link to Nzola is another player on Moyes’ list and it is obvious they will not all be arriving. It might transpire that none of the aforementioned stars end up at the London Stadium.

But it is clear that there are plenty of players out there who fit the profile of what the Scot needs. Nzola would be a risk due to his lack of experience although he has handled the step up with aplomb.

The Hammers sit comfortably in mid table and the manager has hinted they can cope without a striker. But, having received £20m for Haller, it may be that some of that is reinvested in January.

West Ham are next in league action on January 16 when they entertain Burnley. Before then, they face Stockport County in the FA Cup on Monday night.

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