West Ham plot audacious move for Chelsea, Barcelona target as contact made over Brazilian capture

Vitor Roque

West Ham are ready to rival European powerhouses including Chelsea and Barcelona for the signing of a Brazilian striker, according to reports.

West Ham signed one senior player during the January transfer window, with centre-forward Danny Ings joining from Aston Villa. The deal was similar to Ings’ transfer from Southampton to Aston Villa as it came pretty much out of nowhere.

Ings became part of David Moyes’ squad on January 20 by penning a two-and-a-half-year contract at the London Stadium. West Ham spent around £12million to sign the Englishman from Villa.

West Ham also completed the capture of young centre-back Luizao from Sao Paulo. However, Moyes does not believe he is ready to form part of the senior squad yet so he will continue his development in the West Ham U21s for now.

The Irons need Ings to begin scoring goals as soon as he returns from a knee injury. This will help them move away from the relegation zone – they currently sit in 16th place, just one point above the bottom three.

Moyes also needs to future-proof his forward options somewhat. Currently, Gianluca Scamacca is the only striker at the club under the age of 30. He is 24, where as Ings is 30 and Michail Antonio is 32.

As such, West Ham could probably do with bringing in a young, exciting attacker who can become part of the starting eleven in the future. And it seems they are already getting to work on that particular move.

According to Sport Witness, who cite Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, West Ham are in the mix to sign 17-year-old Brazilian ace Vitor Roque. He is a talented Athletico Paranaense striker who represents Brazil U20s on the international stage.

West Ham battling Euro giants for striker

There are some big clubs in for Roque, including Chelsea, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. But West Ham are currently in a good position to land him first.

The report claims West Ham are already in contact with Athletico Paranaense about a potential move. They submitted a €14million (£12.4m) bid for Roque in January, but this was turned down.

Paranaense have set his price tag at a whopping €40m (£35.6m). Clearly, West Ham are not going to pay this much for a 17-year-old, so they will attempt to negotiate the Brazilian club down.

Barca are aware of West Ham’s push to sign Roque and are planning talks of their own. And they could hold an advantage through Roque’s agent, Andre Cury.

The representative used to work for Barca and therefore still has contacts within the club. He views Barca as a better next destination for his client than West Ham.

As such, Moyes’ side will need to put up more money and better wages than Barca in order to get Roque to join them.

This strategy could still fail through if Cury tells his player to reject West Ham and go for a Barca move. And the La Liga giants will also be able to offer Roque future silverware, something West Ham may struggle with.

West Ham will need to perform their best charm offensive if they are to beat Barca to Roque’s signing.

Meanwhile, Chelsea hold shock interest in signing a West Ham forward this summer, according to reports.