Andrea Belotti Says He'll Only Leave Torino If He's Guaranteed Starting Spot

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 26, 2018

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 11:  Andrea Belotti of Torino FC celebrates a goal during the Serie A match between Torino FC and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Olimpico di Torino on February 11, 2018 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Torino striker Andrea Belotti has said he'll only leave for a "great team" if it means he can keep his place as a starter, with Chelsea and Manchester United both linked with his signature in the past year. 

Both Premier League outfits have been linked with potential moves for Belotti. He's told Italian programme Domenica Sportiva (h/t TalkSport) he needs to know he's starting if he's to head for the Torino exit:

"People tell me I should go to a big club who play for trophies, but I evaluate what's right for me.

"I'm not interested in going to a great team if it means me not playing or being a substitute. If I move, it's because I'll be a starter."

The 24-year-old is in his fifth season as a prominent starter, having dazzled for two seasons at Palermo before earning a move to Turin in 2015.

But Belotti has struggled to drum up the same interest in his signature this term, as recently highlighted by Calcio on BT Sport, with several knee injury setbacks taking their toll on his form in front of goal:

Both United and Chelsea purchased new strikers last summer—Romelu Lukaku moved to Old Trafford while Alvaro Morata replaced Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge, raising the question as to whether either need a new frontman.

That being said, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's recent move to Los Angeles Galaxy has opened a forward spot at United, while Morata is out of form in west London under manager Antonio Conte.

Bayern Munich are mentioned in the report as being among the parties interested in Belotti, who scored 28 goals in all competitions last season but hasn't even hit double digits in 2017-18 as of yet.

The Torino captain scored against Udinese last month to relieve himself of a substantial scoring burden, as evidenced by OptaPaolo; confirmation as to just how far his scoring touch has fallen in the past 12 months:

Clubs from outside Italy can trigger Belotti's release for €100 million (£87 million), a fee few clubs might consider based on recent form, but Corriere dello Sport (h/t Football Italia) reported the club will now let him leave for €50 million (£43 million).

AC Milan are also said to be fans of Belotti, and Goal last month quoted sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli, who addressed their interest in the frontman:

Torino have struggled slightly more this season without Belotti contributing in attack as he did last term, and the temptation could be for Il Toro to cash in on their star this time around following a difficult campaign.

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