Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Giovanni Simeone has shed light on why he opted to join Serie A outfit Hellas Verona despite receiving an offer from Premier League high-flyers West Ham United in the summer, speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport. 

Is there a striker West Ham were not linked with from January to July? 

Alongside Paul Onuachu, Munir El Haddadi, Abdallah Sima, Patson Daka and many, many more, five-time Argentina international Simeone found his way on to the Hammers radar three months ago. 

THE NEYMAR – MBAPPE – MESSI TRIO IS FAILING.

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According to Calciomercato, the London giants tried to sign £14 million-rated Simeone on loan with an option-to-buy clause included in the deal.

Cagliari, the report adds, weren’t keen on the offer. 

Which is a little strange, to be honest, considering the Sardinian club accepted a loan-to-buy bid from top-flight rivals Hellas Verona just a few weeks later. 

Why West Ham failed to sign Giovanni Simeone

Simeone, however, was delighted by the prospect of staying in Serie A and was quickly persuaded to make the move to the mainland.

“(Hellas Verona) director (Tony) D’Amico called me and made me understand how much they wanted me,” explains Simeone. “According to him, I could fit straight into the group – and he was right.  

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

“Last year I was certainly not at my best level. After the end of the season, I gave myself a challenge – to give my best in all training sessions and all the matches and I started immediately, on my honeymoon!

“I trained every day in the Maldives!”

With two goals and three assists in six Serie A matches, Simeone is reaping the rewards of his hard work at Verona, channelling his inner-Cristiano Ronaldo with a gravity-defying header in the 4-0 thrashing of Spezia last time out. 

West Ham, meanwhile, will be praying Michail Antonio avoids the kind of ill-timed injury that has dogged his Premier League career.

The right-back-turned-centre-forward remains the club’s only real number nine but, unfortunately for David Moyes, has hamstrings as taut as a piano wire. 

Let’s pray they don’t go ‘twang’ during that gruelling Thursday-Sunday fixture schedule… 

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

In other news, ‘Perfect’: Alan Pardew thinks £85k-a-week man is the ideal fit for West Ham United