West Ham United’s forgotten man Nikola Vlasic admits that Torino supporters are begging the Croatia international to turn his loan deal at the Serie A club into a permanent transfer, speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, writes the HITC.
Earlier this week, the £25 million signing from CSKA Moscow admitted that his time at the London Stadium was an ‘unhappy’ one.
And who can blame him really? Vlasic started just six league games under David Moyes, shunted out wide more often than not. Since joining Torino on loan, the former Everton youngster has returned to his favoured number ten role, and Il Granata have been rewarded with some much-improved performances.
Vlasic already has four goals in Serie A, Torino coach Ivan Juric labelling the 25-year-old a ‘spectacular’ talent.
And it seems that Vlasic is as happy with Torino as Torino are with Vlasic. The admiration certainly goes both ways.
“The Torino fans are fantastic,” the Split-born playmaker said after scoring in Croatia’s penalty shoot-out victory over Japan in the World Cup last-16 (via CalcioNews24).
“From the first day I arrived in the city, they took me by the hand. Everyone asks me to stay for a long time. I am very happy at Torino. Let’s see what happens in the summer.”
West Ham look set to make a massive loss on a player who spent just one season in claret-and-blue. Torino have a £12 million option-to-buy clause in Vlasic’s contract.
“Talking about the (transfer) market now is really very early,” explains Torino president Urbano Cairo.
“(Vlasic is doing) very well. He is very good and very strong. I like him very much too, but let’s wait and see. The season is long. I am very satisfied with him.”
“He is one of those players who combines technical and physical qualities,” adds director Davide Vagnati.
“West Ham had paid him a lot of money for him. But, in England, it didn’t go as they expected. We did well to sign him, but the championship is still long.”
Per Tuttosport, Vlasic could sign a long-term deal until 2027 at Torino, while taking a pay cut.