Report: West Ham interested in Sporting Lisbon's £17.5m Cristiano Piccini

West Ham United Joint Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold (L) chat prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and West Ham United at the DW Stadium on May 15,...

Cristiano Piccini looks set to leave Primeira Liga outfit Sporting Lisbon with Premier League duo Manchester United and West Ham United linked.

Sportings Italian defender Cristiano Piccini (L)) vies with Feirenses Ugandas defender Alex Kakuba during the Portuguese league football match between Sporting CP and CD Feirense at the...

The right-back slot became something of a problem area for West Ham United last season.

Sam Byram has never really been trusted with a prolonged run of Premier League football while Pablo Zabaleta, though still a popular figure among supporters, is past his best at the age of 33. But if West Ham get their way, right-back could be one of the strongest areas of their squad in 2018/19.

Turkish Football is claiming that Cristiano Piccini is the latest star who could be on his way out of Portuguese crisis club Sporting Lisbon, who have already lost the likes of Rui Patricio and Rafael Leao after players were reportedly attacked by masked hooligans at their own training ground earlier in the year.

And it is understood that West Ham have expressed an interest, having scouted Piccini throughout the 2017/18 season. The 25-year-old Italian started 24 games in the Primeira Liga, assisting three goals.

Sporting's Italian defender Cristiano Piccini (R) vies with Aves' Brazilian forward Amilton da Silva during the Portuguese league football match between Sporting CP  and CD Aves at the...

Turkish Football adds that Sporting would be willing to sell Piccini but only for £17.5 million. His value has skyrocketed in the last 12 months with the Lisbon giants only paying £2.6 million to sign him from Real Betis a year ago.

The report adds that Besiktas have offered to sign the attack-minded Piccini on loan while Manchester United and Inter Milan are keen, too.

Should West Ham win the race, Piccini would fight for a place at right-back with Ryan Fredericks, who arrived on a free from Fulham recently.

Ryan Fredericks of Fulham runs with the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Ipswich Town at Craven Cottage on January 2, 2018 in London, England.

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