By George Overhill

16th Mar, 2023 | 10:10pm

Gianluca Scamacca third-choice at West Ham United as speculation mounts over return to Italy

West Ham have not yet received any approaches regarding struggling striker Gianluca Scamacca who is now third choice striker, The Athletic reports.

Transfer speculation in Italy has ramped up in recent weeks, with Juventus and Inter both now wanting to offer the embattled forward a return to Serie A, just 12-months after his £35.5million move from Sassuolo, and him apparently hoping to take it.

The pair of Italian giants both attempted to sign the 24-year-old before he signed for West Ham, who has badly falling down the pecking order at the London Stadium – he was left on the bench on Sunday (12 March) as David Moyes used only two substitutes and turned to Maxwel Cornet in search of a late winner against Aston Villa – but despite interest exploding around a summer exit there has been no advances as yet.

Roshane Thomas wrote in The Athletic on Wednesday (15 March): “Scamacca is one of the highest earners at the club and the contract he signed last summer doesn’t expire until 2027, with an option to extend for a further year.

“However, as with all players, his status will be reviewed at the end of the season — though it is worth mentioning that no club has approached West Ham to enquire about his availability.”

Time for reprieve?

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

The Italian has had a miserable debut season in England so far, and Moyes’ claim that his “physical data has got to be so much better” has made the issue public.

He started and scored in the 4-0 Europa Conference League win over AEK Larnaca on Thursday night (16 March), and the Irons’ continued presence in the competition may offer him a route to play himself back into contention for Premier League involvement.

But with top flight survival on the line and goals hardly flowing freely in this West Ham side domestically it is a worrying sign that he was sent to warm up twice at the London Stadium on Sunday and then left to sit out.

It is clearly going to take a major uptick in form for this team, and Scamacca individually, to salvage anything from what has been a dreadful season on both counts.

Lifting the Conference League trophy would be a nice consolation but if it comes at the expense of relegation the campaign can’t be considered anything but an abject failure.

Whether it is an issue with the Italian international that he has struggled to consistently start or score in the Premier League, or with his manager probably depends on who you ask, but it isn’t too difficult to imagine he might be tempted to return to Serie A where he scored 24 times over the previous two seasons.

If he is to leave the London Stadium it would arguably make most sense to do it sooner rather than later before he loses too much transfer value, but without offers he won’t be going anywhere.