West Ham United have opened talks with Montpellier about in-demand striker Elye Wahi, TEAMtalk understands.
Technical director Tim Steidten believes Wahi to be one of the best young strikers in Europe and wants him to help replace Gianluca Scamacca – who has signed for Atalanta after a single season in the Premier League – and Michail Antonio, who is hoping to leave the Hammers for Saudi Arabia.
TEAMtalk also recently revealed that Wolves have revived their interest in Antonio after previously looking at the Jamaica international in January.
His departure to any destination would heighten an already pressing need for West Ham to find a new centre-forward, which is where Wahi could come in.
As TEAMtalk revealed over the weekend, Wahi has also been looked at closely by Arsenal. Furthermore, he has been the subject of bids from Chelsea, who have a plan to loan him out – potentially to sister club Strasbourg, although Wahi is not keen on this option, which is believed to have played a part in the move not moving forward in recent weeks.
Now, West Ham – who have Europa League football on offer this season – have joined the queue for Wahi as well.
TEAMtalk understands that the Hammers have also enquired about Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun – who has been the subject of bids from Inter Milan and Monaco.
West Ham backed to afford Balogun
It has recently been reported by the Independent that West Ham are – along with Monaco – one of the only two clubs who can afford Balogun at present.
The report suggested his price tag is above £40m, which Inter would not be able to get close to. Balogun is said to be open to either alternative destination, though, and may favour a Premier League stay with West Ham. That said, after his breakthrough season on loan in France with Reims, he wouldn’t turn his nose up at the Ligue 1 option either.
Despite an injury to Gabriel Jesus, Balogun might not get the regular gametime he wants to keep up by staying at Arsenal.
Therefore, West Ham could become an option for him as they aim to pick up the pace for their transfer activity this summer.
Their first signing, Edson Alvarez – who will replace Arsenal new boy Declan Rice in defensive midfield – signed his deal on Wednesday night, TEAMtalk has learned. After completing his media duties, the announcement of his transfer from Ajax is expected to arrive on Thursday morning.