West Ham United are the Premier League favourites to sign Rayan Cherki as Chelsea have ended their interest in the Lyon star, TEAMtalk can exclusively reveal.
Lyon have endured a terrible season in Ligue 1 and find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table with just seven points from 14 games. They have one of the strongest squads in the league on paper but are now shock relegation candidates.
This has led to protests from supporters, while the club considers major surgery in January which includes the sale of some of their star men. One such player is Cherki, who has been a much-touted star over recent years, and sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that the French outfit are open to offers for him next month.
Last summer, the 20-year-old was seen as a player who could make a big move with his brilliant dribbling ability, and some stand-out performances last season in his locker. However, he has failed to recapture his form this term, and the club are willing to cash in.
West Ham and Chelsea had both scouted the attacking midfielder but moves for him did not materialise as questions were raised about his application and attitude in training. In the summer, Lyon were also expecting an extremely high fee for their academy graduate.
However, due to a poor season so far, TEAMtalk can reveal a transfer is there to be done for £25million plus add-ons, which could attract West Ham back into discussions. Chelsea are not expected to move at this time as they are focused on other targets.
Cherki, who has been capped at under-21 level by France, is seen as a player with an incredibly high ceiling but has failed to live up to the expectations of many in the French game. At only 20 years of age there is still scope for his potential to be reached in the correct environment.
Lyon tied Cherki down to a new deal in early 2023 due to the fact interest was growing in him. Chelsea were alongside AC Milan and other major European clubs in sending scouts to watch him on a regular basis. There is now fear at Lyon that they could lose out on a good fee, as it is unlikely the playmaker will extend beyond 2025, when his current deal expires.
Rayan Cherki open to Prem move amid West Ham pursuit
The likelihood of a deal being struck for Cherki in the winter window is growing, with sources confirming to TEAMtalk that the youngster is open to a mid-season move and looking to step out of French football for a new experience.
Cherki has previously been told that a switch to Stamford Bridge would be ‘ideal’, given how good Mauricio Pochettino is at improving young players. But the Lyon-born ace is more likely to head to East London next by joining David Moyes’ side.
Both Chelsea and West Ham are also keeping tabs on the performances of Lille starlet Leny Yoro, and TEAMtalk has taken a closer look at the towering defender.