West Ham United are interested in a deal to bring Luca Pellegrini to the London Stadium this summer.
What’s the talk?
That’s according to a report by Italian media outlet Calciomercato, who claim that West Ham and Fulham are both interested in a move for the Juventus left-back this summer – with the Serie A side believed to be willing to part with the 23-year-old for a figure in the region of €12m (£10m).
However, despite the newly-promoted club’s interest in a deal for the Italy international, further reports have suggested that it is David Moyes’ side who are currently leading the race for the defender’s signature – with a deal said to have been nearing completion towards the end of June.
With Aaron Cresswell turning 33 years of age later this year and Arthur Masuaku having largely struggled for form since his £6m signing from Olympiakos back in the summer of 2016, it is not difficult to see why Moyes is targeting the signing of a new left-back ahead of West Ham’s 2022/23 campaign.
And, while it is true that Pellegrini has somewhat fallen out of favour at Juventus following his €22m (£19m) signing from AS Roma back in 2019 – being loaned out to Cagliari in 2019/20 and to Genoa in 2020/21 – the full-back has nevertheless shown glimpses of why the Bianconeri initially wanted to bring him to the Allianz Stadium over the past few years.
Indeed, over his 24 Serie A outings while on loan with Cagliari three seasons ago, the £9m-rated talent highly impressed, registering six assists and creating four big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 0.9 key passes, 0.9 crosses and completing 1.3 dribbles per game.
The versatile full-back – who former Italy U21 coach Paolo Nicolatoalso dubbed “remarkable” – also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 1.3 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 1.6 clearances and winning 4.2 duels per fixture.
It is form such as this that led many to believe that Juventus had secured a real gem upon their signing of Pellegrini, with Matteo Bonetti stating of the 23-year-old shortly after the confirmation of his move to Turin:
“Juventus with another masterstroke. Luca Pellegrini has the potential to become the best left-back in Italy. At his age, he’s already so technical and a good crosser. The defensive improvements will come with time. Really great move for Juve.”
As such, should Moyes be able to fend off competition from Fulham for the left-back’s signing this summer, it would indeed appear something of a masterstroke move by the 59-year-old Scot – as it is clear to see that, with a bit of patience, Pellegrini could yet develop into one of the leading full-backs in the Premier League next season.
AND in other news: Moyes closing in on “top target” as 4th West Ham summer signing, he’s a “scary” talent