A report in Spain claims Barcelona have accepted a bid from West Ham for striker Martin Braithwaite but two sources have denied the story.
But David Moyes wants a new man in his ranks and Braithwaite has been on the radar for some time. The 30-year-old made a shock move to the Nou Camp in the winter of 2020.
The Denmark international had become a journeyman player, with spells at Toulouse, Middlesbrough, Bordeaux and Leganes.
Therefore it was a complete surprise when the Catalans paid €18 million and signed him on a four-and-a-half year contract.
He made 11 starts among 29 LaLiga appearances last term, scoring twice for the Spanish giants. But his days at Barca may now be numbered if the report is to be believed.
Spanish website Sport.Es claimed Barcelona have accepted the Hammers’ £12.75m offer. All that remains now is for the relevant parties to thrash out personal terms.
However, Italian journalist and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has tweeted that the Londoners have not tabled a bid.
The season begins in two weeks and Moyes will want time for any new arrival to bed in. The Dane has experience of English football, having signed for Boro in the summer of 2017.
However, things did not go to plan and he was loaned to Bordeaux for the second half of 2017-18. In total, the man with 56 Denmark caps made 36 Championship appearances for the Teessiders, scoring eight goals.
He found the net 10 times for Leganes in the Spanish top flight, prompting Barca to make a move.
Braithwaite joins long list of West Ham targets
West Ham have been linked with a number of strikers but David Moyes has yet to land a target. Chelsea star Tammy Abraham is one name that has been mentioned.
His price tag of £40m may be restrictive while Arsenal are also thought to be keen. Braithwaite is a cheaper alternative but is unlikely to set fans’ pulses racing.
Barca have acquired Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay since the end of last season. The Scandinavian’s place in the first team is therefore under threat and he has already lost the number nine shirt to Depay.
There is mixed messaging over the front man’s future, with Wolves also linked. ESPN’s Spanish football reporter Sam Marsden agrees with Romano that there is no deal in place for Braithwaite.
Whatever happens, it seems highly unlikely he will play for Barca in 2021-2022.