Host Of Premier League Clubs Eye Torino’s Andrea Belotti
Posted by Matt Walters | Published on March 6, 2017
Premier League clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester City are said to be some of many clubs chasing Torino striker Andrea Belotti.
The striker – nicknamed, “Il Gallo” (The Rooster) – has scored 22 Serie A goals in 24 matches and has led his side to 9th in the table. They reportedly face competition from both Milan clubs and Real Madrid.
Currently, Belotti is second in the Golden Shoe table, which measures points by multiplying the number of goals scored with a difficulty factor which is determined by the difficulty of the league. Lionel Messi leads the way with 46.0 points (23 goals with a difficulty factor of 2.0) but Belotti follows with 44.0 points (22 goals with a difficulty factor of 2.0). The highest ranking Premier League player is Spurs striker Harry Kane with 38.0 points, placing him 9th.
Arsenal are said to be scouting the striker, should Chilean star Alexis Sanchez quit the Gunners in the Summer. Sanchez, who has 15 months remaining on his contract, and is reportedly set to leave following a row in training, although manager Arsene Wenger denied those reports earlier today. Even if Arsenal keep hold of Sanchez, they may choose to invest in a more natural striker, allowing the Chilean to return to his position on the left flank.
Chelsea striker Diego Costa was also linked with a departure in January following a row with Antonio Conte, although, the issue has since blown over. The Chelsea boss once managed Belotti’s Turin rivals Juventus and is said to be a long-time admirer of the striker, but the Italian may have to adapt his system in order to fit both players into the team.
Manchester City are also reportedly in for him with goalkeeper Joe Hart – on loan at Torino – calling him “A special player”. This move looks less likely, however, with Sergio Aguero vowing to stay at the Etihad until City win the Champions League and Brazilian youngster Gabriel Jesus showing excellent form before picking up an injury last month.
Torino’s number 9 recently signed a new contract, including a €100m release clause, and following his recent 8-minute hat trick against Palermo – the quickest in Serie A for 17 years – manager, Sinisa Mihajlovic, claimed “Il Gallo is worth more than €100m.”
“Belotti has all the attributes to become the best striker in the championship and Europe. If he continues like this, €100m is not much.” Torino chairman Urbano Cairo reiterated this, saying:
“I don’t think we can raise the clause now, as we only just signed the contract and we have to respect it. Anyway, a foreign club has come in and put €100m on the table and Belotti has to agree before any sale. I hope no-one comes in with an offer. Of course, if I was negotiating it today, it should be €150m (£130m).”
The striker will not be cheap, but with 22 league goals in 24 games for a midtable club; he will most likely be a huge asset to whichever club claims him.