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M’Bala Nzola was never interested in a move to West Brom or Fulham with the striker’s agent telling Sky Italia that Italy or Turkey were his preferred destinations, via Tuttomercatoweb.

After picking up four wins and a draw from their opening five Championship games, even a disappointing end to a frantic transfer window has not dimmed the optimism growing at West Bromwich Albion. 

But can Valerien Ismael’s side last the course with the out-of-form Karlan Grant and the unconvincing Jordan Hugill as their striking options?  

ULTIMATE XI Of Players Signed This Summer

ULTIMATE XI Of Players Signed This Summer

Purported deals for Mateo Cassierra and Daryl Dike did not come to fruition while Nzola, a physical, old-school number nine the mould of Didier Drogba and Romelu Lukaku, never gave a second thought to swapping Serie A for England’s second tier. 

Is M’bala Nzola now heading to Istanbul?

“Nzola was on the market. It is normal that there were negotiations,” agent Doug Pingisi explains of a man who scored 11 Serie A goals last season, including a famous winner away at Napoli.  

“The player’s will was to stay in Serie A. The only team to have made a concrete offer was Genoa. We also had talks with English and Turkish clubs, but the will of M’bala has always been to stay in Italy. 

“Genoa was his first choice, then the Rossoblù did not find an agreement with Spezia and the exchange failed.” 

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Marco Silva’s Fulham are long-time admirers of Nzola, having failed with an £11.5 million bid during the January transfer window.

With the ink still drying on Aleksandar Mitrovic’s new contract and with Rodrigo Muniz waiting in the wings, however, the Cottagers won’t be shedding too many tears if Nzola ends up in Turkey instead.  

“We are talking to İstanbul Basaksehir,” Pingisi adds. “The player would like this destination. The Istanbul team has always been the boy’s favourite destination, after Serie A.” 

The Turkish transfer window will shut on September 8th

Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

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