Juventus striker Simeone Zaza is considering a move to West Ham United to help save the club from an injury crisis that is threatening to derail their season. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic is eager to make one more signing after Andy Carroll joined Andre Ayew on the sidelines.
The England international will miss between four and six weeks thanks to a knee problem suffered in the 1-1 Europa League draw with Astra Giurgiu on Thursday (18 August). Carroll becomes the second forward in the space of a week to be ruled out for a significant period after Ayew picked up a thigh injury that will keep him out for four months.
Bilic had previously ruled out signing a new forward to replace the Ghanaian but the loss of Carroll leaves West Ham with just two senior strikers, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho. After admitting the club do need attacking reinforcements before the end of the summer transfer window, Italy international Zaza could come to the club's aid.
The Evening Standard claim West Ham would need £20m (€23.2m) to convince Juve into selling Zaza, but the player's father has suggested his son would be open to a move to east London. The signing of Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli has seen Zaza plummet further down the pecking order with the Serie A champions, and the Premier League could offer his career the new lease of life it needs.
"West Ham are a solution we'd appreciate and represent something more concrete," he told Mediaset Premium, according to The Evening Standard. "We'll have to see what Juventus do and expect news soon.
"We are taking London into serious consideration as his next destination. Simone still has four years on his contract and would happily remain in Turin to give his contribution. Juventus don't want to sell Simone to a direct rival. Milan, Napoli and Roma would be the options, we'll see what happens."
Despite not making the volume of signings Bilic had initially demanded, the Croatian coach was seemingly content with the size of his squad following the addition of nine players during the summer – including Argentine loanee Jonathan Calleri, who made his debut in the 1-0 win over 10-man AFC Bournemouth. However, the string of fitness problems has forced Bilic into a U-turn and he is now hopeful co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold can secure a last-minute signing.
"Are we going to try to get one? We're going to try to get one if possible," he said according to official West Ham website. "The chairman is going to be very generous, I think, and we're going to get one if we can find a proper one, but they're very hard to find. I'm going to speak to the Chairman and our head of recruitment on Monday morning and if we can get one, it has to be a good one. If we don't get one, I have lads who are going to fight for West Ham, big time!"