Swansea City have earmarked Sampdoria’s Stefano Okaka as a potential replacement for the departed Wilfried Bony, according to Italian football website Tuttomercatoweb.com.
The Italian striker, 25, has scored just three goals in 19 total appearances so far this season, but his performances in the opening stages of the campaign were impressive enough to see him earn his first international call-up in November.
Going on to score on his debut, the imposing front man has continued to be linked with a winter exit in recent months, and both Sampdoria’s recent purchase of Luis Muriel and reported talks with Samuel Eto’o have now served to further fuel speculation surrounding his future.
Nevertheless, his agent, Andrea Catolli has moved to dismiss such talk for the moment, telling Sampdorianews.it this week: “Stefano’s only concerns are to play well and to help the team.
“The fact that Sampdoria are bringing in reinforcements will be good for everyone. Stefano is happy at Samp, and outside voices and rumours have generated unnecessary controversy.
“We agreed with the club that in June we will all discuss Stefano’s future, while he is still tied with Sampdoria.”
Those comments have not stopped the rumour mill from turning, however, and, with star man Bony completing his £28 million move to Manchester City, Swansea are said to be considering an approach.
Were a move to materalise, it wouldn’t be Okaka’s first taste of the Premier League, having scored three times in 13 games during a five-month loan at Fulham in 2010 when still on the books of Roma.
A much-touted prospect at the Stadio Olimpico, he failed to make the grade in the Italian capital before sealing a permanent move to Parma in 2012, and it wasn’t until his switch to Sampdoria last winter that he at last began to demonstrate his potential.
Considering Bony’s outstanding goalscoring record in English football, it’s hard to imagine Okaka coming anywhere close to matching the Ivorian’s totals, but then there are few strikers out there who could produce a similar return.