Struggling West Ham striker Simone Zaza has received support from his former Italian national team manager Antonio Conte.
Zaza has not scored in his 11 appearances for the Hammers since signing on loan from Juventus, with his agent this week quoted as saying the deal could be terminated in January.
A number of Serie A clubs are said to be interested in taking the player back to Italy.
The 25-year-old was given his first call-up to the Italy squad by Conte, and his 16 caps include three appearances at this summer’s European Championships.
Conte, now in charge of West Ham’s London rivals Chelsea, admitted Zaza was finding it hard in the Premier League, rather like his own acquisition, Michy Batshuayi.
“I think it’s hard to arrive and to understand very well this league. I can see another example in Zaza, at West Ham,” Conte said at a press conference after the Blues’ win at Crystal Palace.
“I know him very well, he played for me at the Euros. I can tell you that he is a good player but now in England he is having a lot of difficulty.
“It’s important to adapt to this football, because it is very tough, very physical.”