Spending just under £95m in the summer, West Ham decided to give new manager Manuel Pellegrini everything he wanted (within reason).
Up north, Everton did something very similar with Marco Silva, opening their chequebook for the likes of Richarlison, Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne, totalling a transfer expenditure of around £90m.
With the Premier League TV money giving clubs vast amounts of money to spend, it’s no surprise to see them scouting the same players as Manchester United and Chelsea, with the knowledge they can probably offer them more game time.
That appears to be what’s happened with Nicolo Barella, as Corriere dello Sport claim both the Hammers and the Toffees were present midweek to watch Sampdoria draw with Cagliari, keeping an eye on the 21-year-old midfielder.
Previous reports have suggested the Italy international was valued by his club at around €50m, a fee Everton have already shown they’re prepared to spend, and one West Ham would probably shell out if they felt the player was worth it.
Speaking to the press over the international break, Barella made it clear he values game time over club prestige to continue his development, and that’s where the two “smaller” Premier League clubs might have the upper hand on the more reputable competition.
We doubt there’ll be any movement in January, but this is one to keep in mind for next summer.