Curbs eyes Italy raid

PUBLISHED: 16:07 11 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:11 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG ALAN Curbishley is plotting a major swoop on Serie A this summer as he attempts to build a squad capable of challenging for Europe next season. Curbishley was on a scouting mission to Italy last weekend and the West Ham boss has drawn u


ALAN Curbishley is plotting a major swoop on Serie A this summer as he attempts to build a squad capable of challenging for Europe next season.

Curbishley was on a scouting mission to Italy last weekend and the West Ham boss has drawn up a list of ambitious transfer targets with the club's new technical director Gianluca Nani.

Nani does not officially begin his role at Upton Park until the end of the season, but he has already produced a shortlist of players he is anxious to recruit for the club.

"I went out there because obviously we need to have a dialogue," Curbishley said of the meeting with Nani.

"We discussed a lot of things and I got to see players who could be on our shopping list. The opportunity arose so I saw three games in all in the time I was out there."

Curbishley attended the Serie A clash between European champions AC Milan and Cagliari on Saturday evening, having also taken in Roma's 3-2 defeat of Genoa and the Serie B encounter between Nani's current club Brescia and rivals Bari.

Heading the list of possible recruits is Brescia's £10million-rated full-back Marco Zambelli, who has been the subject of an official enquiry from the Hammers.

Nani is understood to have identified the 22-year-old defender as a key signing and the former Italy Under-20 international could be the technical director's first capture for the club this summer.

Curbishley also ran the rule over Lazio midfielder Pasquale Foggia, who has won full international honours for Italy since joining Cagliari on loan this season.

The left-sided playmaker regularly troubled the Milan defence during his team's 3-1 defeat at the San Siro, and is one of a number of attacking midfielders interesting the club.

Lazio's Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami is another target, and could be available at a cut-price fee having failed to agree a new deal with the Serie A side.

Udinese schemer Gaetano D'Agostino also features highly on the club's wanted list, while an ambitious move for team-mate Antonio Di Natale is thought to have been discussed.

Di Natale was one of the stars of Italy's Euro 2008 qualification campaign and is set to leave unfashionable Udinese this summer.

A move to Fiorentina had appeared likely but the 30-year-old's agent admitted this weekend that "English interest" had moved ahead of contact from Serie A clubs.

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