Hammers deny Pazzini link
West Ham chief doesn't want Fiorentina striker
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: December 11, 2008 3:47pm
Pazzini: Hammers link
West Ham have denied having any interest in signing Fiorentina striker Giampaolo Pazzini.
The Hammers had been strongly linked with a move for the 24-year-old and boss Gianfranco Zola knows Pazzini well from their time together with the Italy Under-21 side.
Pazzini, who scored the first-ever goal at the new Wembley Stadium while with the Azzurrini, only signed a new long-term contract in Florence last year.
But he has slipped down the pecking order in recent months and with Alberto Gilardino in fine form he looks unlikely to get a chance to resurrect his career with the Viola.
However, West Ham's director of football Gianluca Nani has been quick to deny any interest on behalf of the East London club.
"These days there are many things coming from Italy that I get calls about," Nani told Violanews.
"The truth is that Pazzini does not interest us, he is absolutely a player that does not enter our plans."
Reports in Italy suggested former Lazio star Valon Behrami could head in the opposite direction, but again Nani was quick to insist there was no truth in that.
"Behrami is a very important player for us and he is not for sale," he insisted.
"The story is totally unfounded and Behrami, without a shadow of a doubt, will remain with West Ham.
"I will also say that that our intention is not just to bring Italian players to England."
He can go
Fiorentina manager Cesare Prandelli has admitted he could be willing to let Pazzini go, but he concedes there has been no contact.
"Pazzini is an important player for Fiorentina and I hope he can show that," he told Sky Italia.
"It is the players who decide their own future.
"If Pazzini wants to go to West Ham, we would do something about it but at the moment there's nothing."