We may still be a week away from October but it appears that West Ham United have already started planning for the January transfer window.
For the second summer in a row, the club has come under fire from supporters for perceived poor recruitment, the likes of Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta seen as short-term, quick-fix signings.
Reports in Tuttomercatoweb that West Ham are tracking Bologna duo Simone Verdi and Adam Masina (below) then, aged 25 and 23 respectively, may be greeted with more universal acclaim. The Serie A pair are two of the league’s rising stars and it is understood that West Ham sent scouts to watch them in action during Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Inter Milan.
Verdi, who scored the opener in midweek to bring an end to Luciano Spaletti’s sides perfect start to the season, is a hugely exciting player blessed with an eye for the spectacular.
His outstanding volley against Sampdoria last September was one of the most eye-catching goals of the 2016/17 Serie A season and the Italian playmaker, who was likened to Gianfranco Zola during his formative years at AC Milan, could add some much needed brains to a midfield reliant upon brawn and energy.
Masina, meanwhile, is an attack-minded left-back renowned not only for his aggressive runs down the flank but also sturdy one-on-one defending and a sound positional sense.
The report adds that West Ham are keen to strengthen the left-hand side of their defence and Moroccan Masina may be viewed as an upgrade on Aaron Cresswell or Arthur Masuaku.