West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola is to step up his efforts to bring former Italian Under-21 International Giampaolo Pazzini to the Premier League from Serie A side Fiorentina, according to the Daily Express.
Former Chelsea player Zola knows all about 24-year-old Pazzini, having coached the Viola striker, while being part of the Azzurrini coaching staff before taking charge at Upton Park in September.
Fiorentina have always maintained that Pazzini will not be leaving the Stadio Artemio Franchi, despite the striker losing his place in the Gigliati first team to Alberto Gilardino, who joined Fiorentina from Serie A rivals AC Milan in May.
Pazzini is valued at around £7million by Fiorentina and has scored 24 goals in 96 appearances for the Viola, but has been reduced to playing nothing more than a bit-part for the Italian side under coach Cesare Prandelli this season. With, the former Atalanta striker understood to be keen on a reunion with Zola in the Premier League.
However, it has been widely reported that Zola has to sell players before new faces can arrive at the Premiership club after the collapse of Icelandic bank Landsbanski, which the Hammers chairman was a major shareholder in. With reports suggesting that Zola is ready to offload players surplus to requirements at the East London club in order to raise the necessary £7million to lure Pazzini away from Fiorentina.