West Ham surge ahead of Arsenal for striker after behind the scenes work

Amine Gouiri, Odsonne Edouard, Jonathan Ikone, Adrien Truffert TEAMtalk

West Ham have leapt to the front of the queue to sign Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard, according to a report.

Edouard is expected to leave Celtic this summer after they failed to retain their Scottish Premiership title. He has scored 81 goals from 163 appearances since joining the club in 2017 and has been linked with a move to a more competitive league. A move south of the border could await.

The French striker has several suitors in the Premier League. Reports earlier this week named Arsenal and Leicester as two of his admirers.

Arsenal are planning for a future without Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, although the former could stay. With doubts too about the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, they could need new options up front.

But at the time, it was claimed that Leicester were the favourites to sign the 23-year-old. Edouard previously played for Brendan Rodgers at Celtic and a reunion could be on the cards.

According to Football Insider, though, it is West Ham and not Leicester who are leading the race to sign him.

West Ham have been looking for a new striker ever since allowing Sebastien Haller to leave for Ajax in January. They failed to bring anyone new in during the winter market as they waited for the right opportunity.

They have been linked with a plethora of names since, such as Youssef En-Nesyri and Tammy Abraham. But Edouard is now on their radar as well.

The former PSG product has turned down a new contract in Glasgow. With just one year left on his deal, Celtic are now under pressure to sell him.

West Ham are said to have made progress in their pursuit of Edouard as they work behind the scenes. They are aiming to complete negotiations before the transfer window opens to steal a march on Arsenal and Leicester.

Tony Gale: Top four so close for West Ham United

Former West Ham defender Tony Gale says he believes that his old club can qualify for the Champions League but expects a tough run-in.

Those two clubs remain in the picture for the signing as well. With a price tag of around £10m, there will undoubtedly be a lot of competition for his signature.

Securing Champions League football would be a boost for West Ham in their attempts to sign Edouard. Leicester are also battling for a similar goal and both currently occupy a top four spot.

It seems Arsenal would have to win the Europa League to reach the continent’s premier competition. However, all three destinations could still be considered by Edouard.

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West Ham looking at Villarreal striker

Another striker under consideration for West Ham is Paco Alcacer, who is currently at Villarreal.

The former Barcelona striker returned to La Liga from Borussia Dortmund in January 2020. He has gone on to score 14 goals in 42 games for Villarreal.

According to Fichajes, West Ham are observing the 27-year-old. He remains under a long-term contract and would cost around €25m.

But the Hammers are interested in the Spaniard and could test the Yellow Submarine’s resolve.

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