Moussa Dembele is close to joining Atletico Madrid on loan from Lyon, a move which will put talk of a Premier League transfer on hold.
Dembele has been regularly linked with a move to the Premier League in recent years. He has been prolific for Lyon in the past two-and-a-half seasons since joining from Celtic.
However, the goals have dried up somewhat for the former Fulham striker this season. He has only scored one goal from 16 games in Ligue 1.
Therefore, a move elsewhere could help him re-focus. The Premier League was a possible destination, with West Ham in particular tipped to bid for him.
West Ham are looking for a replacement striker after selling Sebastien Haller to Ajax. A number of names have appeared on their shortlist, but Dembele would have been an optimal addition.
However, the chances of that move have now plummeted. Instead, it seems Dembele will be joining Atletico.
According to various sources, including Telefoot, Atletico are ready to sign Dembele on loan for the rest of the season.
The La Liga leaders are looking for a replacement for Diego Costa, whom they released from his contract earlier this month.
Dembele, 24, will be hoping to make an impression in the Spanish capital. Indeed, Atletico boss Diego Simeone has confirmed the deal is close.
“It’s still not confirmed, but it’s very advanced,” Simeone said before Tuesday’s match against Sevilla.
“I’m going to turn my head towards the game, which is what interests me, and when there’s something [on Dembele], if there is something, I’ll give an opinion.”
West Ham will not be the only Premier League side disappointed to miss out on Dembele. He has also been mentioned as a target for Manchester United in the past.
More recently, he was reportedly on Tottenham’s radar before they had to turn their attention to Carlos Vinicius.
Arsenal also had their eyes on him, but ultimately did not need to bid after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally committed his future to the club.
West Ham turn attention to Italy
With their pursuit of Dembele over, West Ham have already been linked with a number of different profiles for attack.
The latest striker to emerge as a target is Arkadiusz Milik, according to Calcio Napoli 24.
Milik is out of contract at the end of the season and has not played for Napoli this term due to being left out of their squad.
A few different clubs could bid for him, but West Ham have now made a formal offer worth €7m, it is claimed. Napoli’s response is not yet known.