West Ham and Watford are battling to hijack the potential transfer of Jens Stryger Larsen from Udinese to Galatasaray, according to reports.
Stryger Larsen was a member of the Denmark squad that made it all the way to the semi-finals of Euro 2020. From his perspective, it was the reward for four years of hard work at club level with Udinese. However, his future there is now in doubt.
The 30-year-old is in the final year of his contract, meaning Udinese could sell him this summer. He was thought to be on the verge of a move to Turkey with Galatasaray. However, Sky Sports are reporting that the proposed deal has fallen through.
Galatasaray could not convince the defender over personal terms. A heavy loss in the first leg of a Champions League qualifier against PSV has not helped.
The Hammers have been looking to strengthen in the full-back areas to provide competition for Vladimir Coufal (whose own contract talks have been stalling). With a European campaign of their own on the horizon, they need depth all over the pitch.
For the Hornets, it is a different situation. They secured their return to Premier League football at the first time of asking, but must work hard to stay there. Thus, it is an important transfer market for them as they prepare.
Stryger Larsen has now made his way onto both of their shortlists for a transfer. Of the pair, it would seem Watford should have the advantage, because they have the same owners as Udinese.
Despite the two clubs having traded several players thanks to that connection, it is not a given that Stryger Larsen will follow the same route. However, Watford will be hoping to benefit from the situation again – even if West Ham may be more tempting thanks to the lure of Europa League football.
Agent of Hammers target responds to Wolves links
Another member of the Denmark Euros squad to be linked with West Ham is striker Martin Braithwaite.
Braithwaite was a surprise signing for Barcelona in the winter of 2020 and now looks like someone they will be trying to offload.
He has been linked with a return to English football after a previous spell in the Championship with Middlesbrough. This time, he would be aiming for the Premier League, where West Ham and Wolves have been linked.
But his agent has given an indication of where his future lies after hitting out at reports of a move to Wolves.