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Italian side to the rescue for West Ham after shock links to controversial striker Mario Balotelli
Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

Italian side to the rescue for West Ham after shock links to controversial striker Mario Balotelli

West Ham United have been linked with a host of potential replacements for wantaway Marko Arnautovic but none more controversial than Mario Balotelli.

Arnautovic is agitating for a move to China after his agent and brother Danijel told talkSPORT the West Ham talisman has wants to leave.

The Hammers have taken a hardline stance and will not accept anything less than their £50m valuation.

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Pellegrini eyeing Arnautovic replacements

Manuel Pellegrini has been busy making plans for potential replacements should Arnautovic leave.

West Ham have been linked with the likes of Callum Wilson, Andrea Belotti, Krzysztof Piatek, Maxi Gomez, Duvan Zapata and Edin Dzeko.

But a report from Italy at the weekend raised eyebrows when controversial striker Mario Balotelli was linked with a shock move to East London.

According to TuttoMercatoWeb,  Pellegrini is monitoring Balotelli, who is currently with French club Nice at the moment.

Photo by Nicolò Campo LightRocket via Getty Images

West Ham fans incredulous at Balotelli link

Pellegrini did not work with the 28-year-old Italy striker at Manchester City. The striker had already left for AC Milan on loan before the Chilean took over.

But he reportedly wants the former AC Milan man at the London Stadium.

Some Hammers fans were incredulous at the reports.

There was a backlash on social media from supporters opposing any such move.

So has Italian club Sassuolo come to West Ham’s rescue?

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Sassuolo to the rescue?

According to respected Italian football journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Sassuolo want to sign Balotelli to replace Barcelona-bound Kevin Prince-Boateng (Football Italia).

Lyon also want Balotelli too according to the report.

In fairness to the former Liverpool forward, he has reignited his career in France.

But like his former Inter Milan teammate Arnautovic, Balotelli has been trying to engineer a move.

As long as that club is not West Ham supporters will be pleased judging on the reaction to the reports.