Italian outfit Sassuolo are hoping to steal West Ham United midfielder Pedro Obiang from under the noses of their Serie A rivals Fiorentina, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.
The Italian outlet claims that the former Sampdoria star had been close to a return to the peninsula with the Florence-based team, but that Sassuolo are now also in the hunt.
Roberto De Zerbi is looking to add some reinforcements in central midfield, and the Equatorial Guinea international is thought to be keen to go back to Italy.
The 27-year-old made 29 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers last time out.
This Obiang situation is a puzzling one. On the one hand, he’s clearly not first choice at the London Stadium anymore. When it comes to central midfielders he is clearly behind Declan Rice and Mark Noble in the pecking order, and maybe Jack Wilshere as well. However, given the latter’s worrisome injury record, selling Obiang would leave Manuel Pellegrini to rely solely on Rice and Noble in the middle of the park. That’s a dangerous situation to be in, but one the club are seemingly ready to risk given how often Obiang gets linked to one Italian team or another. It does seem as if he wants to go back to Serie A, having enjoyed great success with Sampdoria before he moved to east London. However, it would be foolish to sell him without a replacement lined up. For Obiang, is Sassuolo the team he really wants to join? They’re a good side and have firmly established themselves in the Italian top flight now, but they’re no Fiorentina in terms of history and prestige.