Photo by Antonio Balasco/KONTROLAB/LightRocket via Getty Images

Spezia will demand a big fee for reported West Ham and Newcastle United target M’Bala Nzola this summer, the Serie A club’s general manager Mauro Meluso has explained to CDS

Everyone at the Stadio Alberto Picco breathed an almighty sigh of relief when the January transfer window slammed shut two months ago. 

Spezia’s star striker, the late-blooming Nzola, was hardly short of offers during the winter after all.

Every Previous Premier League Manager Returns | Football Manager 2021 Experiment

Every Previous Premier League Manager Returns | Football Manager 2021 Experiment
Elecspo (Youtube)

According to Calciomercato, Newcastle and West Ham both showed an interest, while Fulham made a bid in the region of £11.5 million (Gazzetta dello Sport). 

And you can see why the Premier League trio were so keen.  

Nzola, a 6ft 1in bull of a centre-forward compared to Didier Drogba by Spezia coach Vincenzo Italiano, has scored nine goals in 18 games during his debut Serie A season – a tally that may be enough to keep the Little Eagles in Italy’s top flight for another year. 

And, with the transfer window set to open again in just two months’ time, Spezia’s general manager has wasted no time in making his stance clear – Nzola won’t be going anywhere on the cheap.  

“His price tag? I have a number in my head, but it is difficult to say today. (The number) I have in my head is very high,” Meluso admits.  

Photo by Giorgio Perottino/Getty Images

“He had a particularly positive period, not only for the goals he scored but also for the performances he was able to produce.  

“At 24, the striker is one goal away from double figures in his first Serie A season and is a newly capped Angola international.  

“If we are to save ourselves (from relegation), our players would have a greater value. And they know it, they are aware of it.” 

As it stands, Spezia are seven points clear of the bottom three.

But, without a goal since January largely because of an ill-timed ankle injury, Nzola hasn’t been quite the same player recently.

If he plans to follow in Drogba’s footsteps with a big-money move to the Premier League, Nzola will need to rediscover that golden touch between now and the end of May.

Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

In other news, Report: Arsenal told Premier League club will accept £17m for 'phenomenal' midfielder