Championship rivals West Brom and Fulham both hope to snap up M’Bala Nzola as the striker appears to have no future at Italian outfit Spezia, according to Italian publication Citta della Spezia.
If it wasn’t for the late-blooming Angola international, Spezia might not even be a Serie A side this season.
Nzola’s 11 goals in 25 games ensured the Aquilotti avoided relegation quite comfortably last season, a dramatic winner in the 2-1 victory at Napoli in January earning the striker a place in Stadio Alberto Picco folklore.
According to reports coming out of Liguria, however, a change of manager has resulted in a change of circumstances for Nzola.
The strapping centre-forward had an excellent relationship with Vincenzo Italiano before one of the country’s brightest tactical minds upped sticks for Fiorentina.
And Italiano’s replacement, former Inter Milan and PSG playmaker Thiago Motta, doesn’t appear to share his enthusiasm for a man who shouldn’t be short of offers from elsewhere between now and 1 September.
Then again, when you consider Motta once planned to introduce an experimental 2-7-2 formation – with a goalkeeper doubling up as a deep-lying playmaker – it should be no surprise he has no time for a striker who wouldn’t look out of place in a bygone era.
West Brom eye long-term Fulham target M’Bala Nzola
Citta della Spezia claims West Bromwich Albion and Fulham are watching the situation closely. And Spezia won’t stand in Nzola’s way should the Baggies or Cottagers firm up their interest.
Interestingly, Fulham offered £11.5 million for Nzola in January – a fee Spezia deemed insufficient at the time.
A physical, old-school target man, Nzola could be the perfect fit for Valerien Ismael’s highly effective brand of long ball at West Brom.
“(Nzola) is is a fast striker, good at attacking the box and making the team play well. I see a young Drogba in him,” Italiano once said of a man who models himself on Chelsea’s £97 million superstar Romelu Lukaku.