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West Ham speak highly of towering Mazzetti

Aris Limassol keen on Rowen Muscat

Mauricio Mazzetti (right) effects a clearance.

Mauricio Mazzetti (right) effects a clearance.

Birkirkara defender Mauricio Mazzetti could become a target for West Ham United on the back of his fine matches against the English side in the Europa League.

Mazzetti was Birkirkara’s stand-out player as he followed up his solid display in last week’s match in London with another strong showing at the National Stadium on Thursday.

Unconfirmed reports yesterday suggested that West Ham had already declared their interest in Mazzetti but Adrian Delia, the Birkirkara president, told Times of Malta that this story has been blown out of proportion as the English club have not yet made an official offer for the Argentine defender.

Dr Delia did confirm however that West Ham officials spoke highly of Mazzetti during the match and their comments were taken as an indication that they could make an approach for the 29-year-old this summer.

In Thursday’s game, which Birkirkara lost 5-3 on penalties after beating the Hammers 1-0 to level the tie on aggregate, Mazzetti again caught the eye as a powerful and ball-playing defender.

However, he marred his evening with a sending off in the second half of extra-time after a second bookable offence.

Another Birkirkara player who is attracting interest from an overseas club is Rowen Muscat.

The gifted midfielder has received an offer to join fellow Malta international Steve Borg at Cypriot club Aris Limassol.

Sources told Times of Malta that Muscat has a clause in his contract allowing him to join a foreign club for free until the end of July but Birkirkara are doing their best to keep hold of the 24-year-old.

Rowen Muscat and team-mate Zach Muscat are reportedly two of the players who were scouted on by English club Queens Park Rangers in last week’s match in London.

Meanwhile, Birkirkara coach Giovanni Tedesco is still actively working to strengthen his squad.

Tedesco is looking to recruit a powerful forward but reports also suggest that the Stripes are keen on Hamza Barry, the former Valletta midfielder-cum-winger.

Elsewhere, Hibernians and Malta wing-back Clayton Failla yesterday flew out to Austria to join English Championship side Hull City for a trial.

Valletta pursue reinforcements

Valletta are expected to offer a contract to Romeu Romao, a 25-year-old Brazilian flank defender who is currently training with Paul Zammit’s squad. The Citizens are also in talks with a foreign striker after parting ways with Thierry Tazemeta.

In midweek, Sliema Wanderers held Scottish team Hamilton 2-2 in a friendly match.Michael Mifsud and Michele Sansone were on target for Stephen Azzopardi’s side.

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