By Nick Ware

11th Oct, 2021 | 5:10pm

Fabrizio Romano claims there is an 'open race' for Torino’s Andrea Belotti amid West Ham reports

Andrea Belotti could be set for a 2022 exit from Torino in news that may pique the interest of reported admirers West Ham.

The Irons were named as frontrunners in the race to sign the 27-year-old centre-forward in May [Torino Graneta] but the Italy international stayed put in Turin.

It was reported last week, however, that West Ham were lining up a deal to sign Belotti next year as he inches closer to free agency [WestHamFans.org].

Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has delivered a Monday afternoon update on Belotti’s future, via his personal Twitter account.

“Andrea Belotti has chances to leave Torino as free agent next summer, as things stand now,” Romano wrote. “He’s out of contract in June 2022 and he has not yet accepted Torino’s last proposal to extend [his] current deal.

“Zenit and Inter [Milan] were interested last July – going to be an open race.”

Younger alternative?

Belotti has established himself as one of the most fearsome centre-forwards in Serie A over the last six seasons, scoring double figures in every campaign since 2015/16.

He also has 12 goals in 39 Italy caps, and he was a member of the squad that beat England in July to win the European Championship.

However, he will turn 28 in December, and there has to be scepticism over whether he fits the profile of player West Ham look at nowadays.

The three new outfield arrivals at West Ham in the summer – Kurt Zouma [26], Alex Kral and Nikola Vlasic [23] – were all under the age of 28, and have resale value.

If West Ham signed Belotti, they would be signing a player in the prime years of his career, but one that they would be unlikely to make much back on in the future.

Furthermore, he is not someone who will be willing to share centre-forward duties with Michail Antonio at this stage of his career, and thus it makes sense to target a younger alternative, one who can grow into the team.

In other West Ham news, the Irons want to sign this 22-year-old La Liga breakout star with a ‘very attractive’ release clause.

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