TEAMtalk can reveal West Ham United are interested in signing in-form Bayer Leverkusen striker Victor Boniface as they look to bolster their attack.
The Hammers are also yet to make a decision on the future of their manager David Moyes, amid reports the Scot’s job is under threat following West Ham’s patchy run of form – particularly in the Premier League.
Boniface, 22, started the season in scintillating style in Germany, scoring six goals in his first five games after signing from Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.
He now has 11 goals and six assists in 15 games across all competitions this season and his form has led to increased attention – though scouts from across Europe had already been flocking to Leverkusen games as manager Xabi Alonso implements an exciting playing style that has led his side to the top of the Bundesliga.
West Ham are set to cast their net across Europe in a bid to find a goalscorer that can take the team to the next level and match the club’s ambition.
While Boniface is ambitious and scoring at a high level – including in the Europa League – there is a realisation that getting him this season will prove difficult.
The combination of him only just joining Leverkusen, along with the Bundesliga side’s early season form, means West Ham would have to wait until the summer to sign him. The Hammers may be willing to do this, but given their current situation, they could need a striker more urgently.
The search for a forward does overlap with deciding on Moyes’ future as the club need to choose the style of front man they will bring in, and the current boss has clear ideas around what he would want which may not match what others within the set-up have in mind.
West Ham would prefer to decide on Moyes’ future at the end of the season
West Ham have lost four of their last six matches in all competitions and are without a win in four league games, of which they have lost three.
They sit 12th in the Premier League on 14 points after 11 games, although they are top of their Europa League group and remain in the Carabao Cup.
The fanbase is becoming restless about the direction the club is heading and Moyes’ position is believed to be uncertain, with the board yet to decide on his future.
Some reports have suggested the 60-year-old could be facing the sack and TEAMtalk exclusively revealed last month how the club had given Moyes no assurances over his long-term future.
Our understanding of that situation, though, is they are keen not to make a reactive decision based on results – good or bad – in terms of whether he stays.
The club continue to maintain good relations with him and ideally intend to wait until the end of the season, when his contract expires, before making a choice on what happens next.
A 1-0 win over Olympiacos on Thursday eases the pressure on Moyes for now, but the results and performances this season have not reflected the club’s vision of how they want to progress.
We understand the process to start uncovering candidates to replace Moyes is now set to begin, as a matter of diligence rather than intent.