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Is there really anything to this Obiang business?

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Sure, he looks primed for an exit from the Olympic Stadium, but whether Corvino would pull the trigger is another matter entirely.

He sure looks bored with England.
He sure looks bored with England.
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Let it never be said that Fiorentina lacks a certain end-of-mercato flair, which some might less charitably call panicked and desperate flailing. The late sales of Joaquin, matched with the acquisitions of Milan Badelj and Jakub Blaszczykowski, all attest to this penchant. With Pantaleo Corvino, master of the unexpected reveal (see: Carlos "wait, what?" Salcedo), the fans are even more expectant of fireworks at the end of August. The latest candidate to be floated as a possibility is West Ham's 23-year-old Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang, whom you may recall from his 7 years at Sampdoria.

After joining the Hammers for a discount €6 million before last season, Obiang made 35 appearances (tallying an assist and a pair of bookings) for the London club. Although about half of those were starts, he was generally dropped to the bench for the second half of the season, and even played a couple of games with the youth side. Obviously in pursuit of more minutes, a return to Serie A would probably suit him nicely, especially as he tries to stake a place in a crowded Spain midfield--he's got 2 senior caps after starring in the international youth setup.

As you may recall, he's something of a midfield all-rounder. He's capable of playing as a regista due to his solid tackling and defensive instincts, but he seems more comfortable in a slightly advanced role, mostly motoring around the middle third of the pitch and maintaining possession. For Fiorentina, he'd almost certainly be a Borja Valero understudy, albeit a talented one. Perhaps Borja could teach him a thing or two about impressing in Spain before being sold abroad, fizzling out in England, becoming a star in Italy, and never getting nearly enough calls from the Furia Roja.

Most of the rumors have indicated that a resurgent West Ham would happily recoup the €6 million they spent on him last year, as the arrival of Havard Nordtveit has rendered his services superfluous. He'd be an excellent backup and spot starter in midfield, especially while Matias Fernandez is still crocked and coming off a huge letdown of a season, but it seems unlikely that the club would bring in such a high-end reserve without selling someone (probably a striker) first. A more financially viable option would be a loan move for former target and Napoli reject Alberto Grassi, but Obiang would be a real coup.