West Ham United are plotting yet another ambitious transfer move ahead of the January window as the Hammers consider a raid on Roma for attacking star Stephan El Shaarawy.
Though the east London side invested heavily to reinforce their squad as Manuel Pellegrini took the reins at the London Stadium during the summer, the Hammers’ striking ranks went somewhat under-replenished, with only Lucas Perez recruited from Arsenal in attack.
Marko Arnautovic has subsequently shouldered a heavy workload in leading the line for West Ham, and according to Italian football journalist Nicolo Schira, writing on his personal Twitter account, the Hammers have begun ‘probing the ground’ regarding El Shaarawy.
Schira suggested that West Ham, along with Watford, have enquired to Italian giants Roma about the potential availability of the Italian international forward for transfer during the winter transfer window.
However, the journalist went on to suggest that the Premier League side’s interest in El Shaarawy may prove fruitless, with the attacker said to be in favour of remaining in Rome.
The 26-year-old joined Roma on a permanent basis in 2016, following a successful loan spell from his previous club, Serie A rivals AC Milan.
El Shaarawy also spent time on loan from Milan in Ligue 1 with Monaco but is yet to test himself in the rigours of Premier League football.
The tricky attacker was once touted as one of the brightest young talents in European football, though he is yet to truly fulfil the bustling potential displayed earlier in his career.
A move to the Premier League could well prove to be the required next step for El Shaarawy to re-establish a more commanding status on the continent.
However, at the age of 26 it remains to be seen whether the forward would still be conditioned to adapt to English football.
El Shaarawy has scored 18 goals in 73 appearances for Roma, including three goals in eight appearances for the Serie A giants this season