Liverpool and Spurs said to be looking at Italian star

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Former Chelsea youth Jacopo Sala may have popped up on the radar at Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham united.

Sky Sport Italia reported earlier this week that Sala has emerged as a summer target for Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham United.

Perhaps the memories are a bit fuzzy, but back in the summer of 2007 a 15-year-old Sala was plucked away from the Atalanta youth academy by Chelsea, and he looked to have a bright future ahead of him.

Despite spending time training with the first team as early as 2009, however, the Italian was never able to make the breakthrough he clearly hoped for.

Even having won the FA Youth Cup in 2010 – playing 90 minutes in both legs of the final – the ex-Blues youngster failed to make the grade at Stamford Bridge.

Without making an appearance for the senior squad, Sala moved to Germany alongside former Chelsea sporting director Frank Arnesen in 2011, joining Hamburg.

In the Bundesliga, Sala was at last able to secure top flight opportunities, although two seasons at Hamburg brought about only 21 league appearances.

The decision to return to his homeland after spending six years abroad was taken in the summer of 2013, and Sala landed back in Italy with newly-promoted Hellas Verona.

He started off slowly in Veneto. By the turn of the new year, Sala had made just three Serie A appearances, all as a substitute.

Yet the January 2014 sale of Jorginho to Napoli changed things. Sala earned his first start in March, making good contributions in seven of the Scaglieri’s last 10 games.

Utilised mainly as a central midfielder, the summer departure of Romulo appeared to only further boost his prospects in Verona. Then injury struck. This season, having started with such promise, Sala was out injured until January.

All was not lost, however, and good performances in the two months after Sala's return from injury appears to have attracted the interest of a number of Premier League clubs.

Sky Sport Italia transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio reported earlier this week that Sala has emerged as a summer target for Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham United.

In 249 minutes of football at right-back and right wing-back, the versatile Italian has, according to WhoScored, racked up eight key passes, six dribbles, eight tackles and six interceptions. That's nearly three chances created and three tackles per 90 minutes.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’ move towards a 3-4-3 system makes Sala an ideal candidate for the squad, while his ability to play in central midfield should also appeal to the Northern Irishman.

As for Tottenham, Kyle Walker’s recent woes have securing a new right-back looking a priority, while West Ham are uncertain if they’ll be able to hold on to Carl Jenkinson.

Sala would come with the added bonus of being well-versed in the local language and culture, having spent four years in England already at Chelsea.

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