€7m West Brom flop in international tug-of-war between Italy and Spain

Borja Valero has already played for Spain - but now Italy are reportedly ready to tempt him with a World Cup place.

When West Brom broke their then transfer record to snap up Mallorca midfielder Borja Valero for €7 million they had got their hands on one of Spanish football’s hottest talents.

The Spanish midfielder arrived in 2008 and was expected to lead the charge for Tony Mowbray’s newly promoted side - however that was not the case.

Instead he was a monumental flop. He failed to score or have a significant contribution in his 36 games for the club and upon relegation to the Championship he was loaned back to Mallorca until the end of the season.

He left West Brom permanently in 2011 by joining Villarreal after a successful loan deal and he instantly became a big hit at the club.

Unfortunately, after a season blighted by injuries to several key players, the club soon suffered relegation and he was again on the move - with a record of 11 goals and 17 assists in his 97 games for El Submarino Amarillo.

So he switched to Fiorentina. The Florence club seems to be something of a haven these days for Premier League flops - with the likes of Stevan Savic, Alberto Aquilani and now Anderson all donning La Viola.

And this season he has been in his best form yet - wowing crowds with his excellent passing and technical prowess.

And it is not just the fans he has been impressing - as he is the apparent focus of an international tug-of-war between Spain and Italy.

Valero played just once for Spain - in a friendly match against the United States.

And now he is being linked with a bow for the Italian national team - Diego Costa for Spain style.

However Valero has vetoed the move - despite admitting being flattered:

“It's nice if someone has thought of me for Italy. But I'm proud to be Spanish and I would like the world to be with them, but it's hard."

Once a flop at The Hawthorns - now being battled for by two of the world’s most prestigious international teams - not a bad turnaround in five years.

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