Zola hopeful over Jimenez

19 June 2009 10:00
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has stated his intent to sign midfielder Luis Jimenez from Inter Milan. The 25-year-old Chilean is highly sought after, with Tottenham also rumoured to be in the race for his signature. The Hammers manager could possibly complete a double signing from the Serie A champions, with Brazilian Mancini also on Zola's radar. Although the Italian is wary that the move may be hindered by work permit problems, he is still hopeful of bringing Jimenez to Upton Park. "Let's hope (we can sign Jimenez). He is one of those lads who play the way I like. It's not easy to sign non-EU players in England but I think these problems can be solved," Zola told La Gazzetta dello Sport. Jimenez, who has been capped 20 times for Chile, struggled for first team football under Inter boss Jose Mourinho during last season's title-winning campaign. He was captured by the Italian giants last summer after impressing during his loan spell at Giuseppe Meazza the previous season. Zola has also not given up on securing a loan deal for Italy Under-21 striker Mario Balotelli. The 18-year-old is another player who has failed to force his way into Mourinho's first-team plans. Balotelli is one of West Ham's top summer targets but Zola says a potential deal has been scuppered by his current club. "I have done everything I can to sign Mario and it would be both in our interests and his," he added. "There is no place for him at Inter and he is a natural talent. He is very extroverted and he knows his attitude sometimes upsets people, but he is intelligent and is still learning to handle situations. "He is bold and brazen and that's an attribute."

Source: SKY_Sports