Bizarre reports are suggesting that Chelsea have had a £ 51m bid for striker Andrea Belotti turned down by Torino, who want to see much closer to the 23-year-old’s £ 85m release clause on offer before coming to the table.
Manchester United are reportedly interested also in Serie A’s joint top scorer, an honor he shares with documents currently forms the Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko at Napoli, both players bagging 24 times this term.
Nevertheless, that price looks far too steep considering Belotti’s lack of top-level experience, allied with the patchy record of Italian footballers in the Premier League.
Southampton newboy Manolo Gabbiadini’s five goals in six matches before succumbing to injury may have paved the way somewhat, but there have been many more misses than hits over the years.
Around half of the Premier League’s Italian alumni left within two years of arriving – for every Gianfranco Zola and Paolo Di Canio, there seems to be at least two Simone Zazas and Dani Osvaldos.
Were Chelsea’s reported opening bid to be accepted, Belotti would become the joint 13 th most expensive footballer in history, a lofty accolade for a player who had scored just 18 Serie A goals prior to this term, before which he was uncapped.
Three goals in seven matches for the Azzurri since is a fine opening tally, although the fact that they came against Macedonia and Liechtenstein tempers it somewhat.
His performances for Italy certainly do not suggest Belotti should slot in beside Gareth Bale as the joint-second most expensive player in history, which Torino’s crazy valuation does.
With Diego Costa seemingly set on fleeing London, Zlatan Ibrahimovic umming and aahing about staying at United, and Atletico Madrid hotshot Antoine Griezmann not necessarily leaving the Vicente Calderon, Belotti is apparently the next cab off the rank.
The Blues and the Reds will surely continue their courting of Griezmann, but overspending on Belotti seems an unsound Plan B.