The Algerian international, 22, only joined the Serie A giants in the summer following an impressive season with Parma. Inter Milan paid €7.5m for 50% of the former Lyon striker in a co-ownership deal, yet after struggling to break into Walter Mazzarri's team, Belfodil wants to go out on loan in a bid to play first-team football. He was recently told by his national team coach that his in Algeria's squad for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil is not assured if he does not play regular football.
Fellow Serie A side Sassuolo had lined up a £7m bid for Belfodil, though it is believed that the striker wants to play in London, and subsequently narrowed his choice down to either West Ham United or Queens Park Rangers.
Now, this would seem like an easy decision for any foreign player. West Ham are, whilst currently struggling, a Premier League team, whilst QPR are currently in the Championship following their relegation last season. A no-brainer, right?
Well, it seemingly isn't that simple. Reports today suggest that Belfodil will choose to sign for QPR in a loan deal until the end of the season, becoming the latest player to spurn the advances of Sam Allardyce and his Hammers, after Lacina Traore turned down a move to Upton Park in favour of Roberto Martinez's Everton.
Allardyce desperately needs to land a striker after seeing his side hit just 22 goals in 22 games this season, but has so far struggled to attract any of his targets, and Belfodil can now be added to that particular list. It's incredibly concerning for Hammers fans that Belfodil, a promising striker who made his name in a tough league in Serie A, would rather play in the second tier of English football than move to West Ham.
Perhaps the reasoning for Belfodil's decision is simply because West Ham currently lie 18th in the Premier League table, and are in real danger of being relegated. Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp's QPR are second in the Championship, and are one of the favourites for promotion. At such a young age, it's important to feature in a winning team, and perhaps Belfodil feels this will aid his development as a player.
With the latest rejection fresh in Allardyce's mind, he now has to consider alternatives – but if they can't compete with QPR for signings, how can they expect to land a striker that will score the goals to keep them in the Premier League?
image: © p_a_h