West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

West Ham target Swiss star with unbelievable price tag as midfield leader joins shortlist

Italian defender Fabiano Parisi and Swiss midfielder Ardon Jashari

Italy's Fabiano Parisi and Switzerland's Ardon Jashari

West Ham United are rivalling a La Liga side for the signature of Luzern midfielder Ardon Jashari, according to reports.

The news comes from Corriere Dello Sport, which as an Italian source begins by reflecting on Bologna missing out on the signing of Jashari in the summer (and instead turning to Remo Freuler from Nottingham Forest). It might not take too long before he gets another chance to move on from Luzern, though.

According to the report, West Ham are monitoring the 21-year-old, who has captained his current club in each of their past three games.

They face competition, though, from Villarreal, who could present Jashari with a pathway to Spain rather than England.

For either of them to sign him, they would only have to meet a (relatively) modest asking price of €6m, which would equate to just under £5.2m.

Jashari, who was capped twice by Switzerland last year, including once at the World Cup, is under contract with Luzern until 2026.

He has spent his entire career with the club so far, making 80 appearances and scoring seven goals.

This season, Jashari has earned 20 appearances, scoring four goals along the way. Most often, he has been playing as a defensive midfielder.

In that territory, West Ham said goodbye to Declan Rice in the summer by selling their captain to Arsenal. They responded by bringing in Edson Alvarez from Ajax, while the slightly more advanced James Ward-Prowse was another addition to their midfield.

They might have to modify the department further in 2024, though, depending on the future of Tomas Soucek as the end of his contract approaches.

Jashari would be a surprise solution given his relative obscurity for a Premier League audience, but West Ham have had success before by signing players from untapped markets.

Soucek himself would count as an example of that after the fruitful career he has carved out for himself at the London Stadium since his 2020 arrival from Slavia Prague.

In theory, Jashari could become one of his long-term successors, unless fellow Europa League contenders Villarreal can beat West Ham to a deal.

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Jashari could replace ex-Prem pair at Villarreal instead

Francis Coquelin and Etienne Capoue, formerly of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur respectively, will both reach the end of their contracts with Villarreal in June, which may open up vacancies in their midfield.

Despite their stature as a club, Villarreal have endured an inconsistent start to the new season and are already on their third permanent manager of the campaign.

Bringing in someone like Jashari to develop may help them get back on the right path if he is capable of making an immediate impact.

As for whether he would get in at West Ham, he may require some patience – like current Southampton loanee Flynn Downes has been showing, for example – to make a name for himself, but if he has the appropriate talent, it might be wise to get in on the act while the asking price is still reasonable enough.

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