West Ham are now looking into a deal for Sevilla striker Luuk De Jong as a consequence of a rival Premier League transfer, according to reports.
Finding a new centre-forward has been an area of focus for West Ham since selling Sebastien Haller in January. But they saw out the season without a replacement and are yet to sign one this summer. In fact, their only new signing has been the loan addition of goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
With the Premier League season already underway, it has not been the summer West Ham would have been hoping for. They finished sixth last season, securing Europa League qualification. It is important for them to strengthen their squad to juggle the extra competition, but they are yet to do so to a large extent.
One target has been to sign attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard on a permanent basis following his positive impact on loan from Manchester United in the second half of last season. But they also have other areas to attend to – namely, signing a centre-forward and centre-back.
For the forward position, 90min claim they are now considering a move for Sevilla’s De Jong. The Netherlands international has only scored 19 goals in 94 games for his current club, but was previously prolific in the Eredivisie.
He does have some prior Premier League experience with Newcastle, although that spell was not particularly successful. Even so, he could earn a fresh opportunity in England at the age of 30.
According to 90min, De Jong could be an option for West Ham due to Sevilla’s imminent signing of Rafa Mir from Wolves.
Sevilla have hijacked Atletico Madrid’s attempts to sign the Spanish forward, who was on loan at Huesca last season. A deal is now close to completion and will leave the La Liga side with three strikers: Mir, De Jong and main man Youssef En-Nesyri.
Therefore, De Jong is likely to see his opportunities reduced and he could be made available. In that case, West Ham may be the ones to benefit.
The report claims De Jong’s qualities would be appreciated at West Ham. Even though he is not a prolific scorer, he could be a useful presence to help their other attackers.
La Liga forward rejects West Ham transfer
The Hammers’ pursuit of De Jong comes after they were snubbed by another striker plying his trade in La Liga.
Diario Sport have revealed that West Ham made a ‘proposal’ to sign Barcelona striker Martin Braithwaite.
The Dane is one of several stars at the Camp Nou who is up for sale. Barcelona are in debt to the tune of £1.15 billion and are desperately seeking to alleviate their giant wage bill.
But the article claims Braithwaite has no intentions of quitting the glitz and glamour of playing for a European powerhouse.
Despite a move to the Premier League described as being more ‘lucrative’ for Braithwaite personally, he does not wish to join a club in the ‘lower-middle’ hierarchy.
Brighton are also reported to have made an approach, and they too have been rebuffed.
2020 Europa League finalist scorer De Jong could thus be a more viable alternative.