Rumour Reel: Gabbiadini to Southampton, West Ham in striker search?
Jamie Clark | 5 January 2017
Coral’s Rumour Reel
With the January transfer window wide open, Manolo Gabbiadini to Southampton gossip and West Ham United’s striker search are both stepping up a notch.
Read all about such scintillating speculation in more detail below in the latest edition of the Coral Rumour Reel (for January 5), where we take the best transfer talk from the press and online at home and abroad…
Gabbiadini to Southampton?
Italy forward Gabbiadini is linked with a winter window switch to the Saints, because Napoli have turned to fellow Azzurri call-up Leonardo Pavoletti to plug the gap up front caused by injury to Arkadiusz Milik.
With the Naples outfit splashing a reported €18m on purchasing Pavoletti from Genoa, the writing appears to be on the wall for Gabbiadini, who is yet to complete 90 minutes for his current club this term.
Southampton aren’t the only Premier League club thought to be interested in him, however, with Tottenham and Merseyside duo Liverpool and Everton said to be circling.
Claude Puel and the Saints hierarchy are said to have a £17m bid ready to bring 25-year-old Gabbiadini to Southampton, where compatriot Graziano Pelle did so well before leaving for the Chinese Super League this past summer.
Saints striker Charlie Austin has missed the last six matches with a shoulder injury, while fellow forward Jay Rodriguez is again linked with leaving St Mary’s to help revive a stuttering career. It leaves Puel short up front, hence the interest in Gabbiadini.
West Ham in striker search?
One area the Hammers are also lacking in, meanwhile, is attack with loan flop Simone Zaza the main disappointment. Slaven Bilic knows West Ham must step up their striker search in January.
Former Hammers frontman Jermain Defoe, now 34, is one definite target from relegation rivals Sunderland, but David Moyes and the Black Cats don’t look inclined to sell him and risk top-flight status. A £6m offer for Defoe has already been turned down.
Celtic talent Moussa Dembele, 20, is a rumoured alternative, but Brendan Rodgers’ Bhoys are keen to retain their prize asset and they too may reject West Ham overtures.
Brentford forward Scott Hogan, 24, is also linked with a cross-capital transfer to the Hammers, with tabloid reports of a tabled £10m bid being turned down by the Bees.
Bilic’s boys seem certain to sign a new attacking option this winter, however, so expect more talk of a West Ham striker search throughout the window.