West Ham transfer news: Asking price emerges as Moyes closes on MLS striker Valentin Castellanos

Forward Valentin Castellanos speaks during celebration for NYCFC winning the 2021 MLS Cup on City Hall steps

West Ham United are reportedly leading the race to sign highly-rated New York City striker Valentin Castellanos.

Castellanos has attracted attention from around the world with his stunning MLS form. The 23-year-old won the league’s Most Valuable Player award last season as he scored in all three play-off games to help NYCFC win their first league title. Now, Hammers boss David Moyes is hoping to convince the young Argentinian to make the switch over to the Premier League.

According to the Daily Mirror, NYCFC have valued their star striker at £12.8m. West Ham are reportedly willing to pay this fee, with Moyes hoping to improve on their seventh-placed finish in the Premier League this season.

Castellanos had been linked with a return to his home country of Argentina, with River Plate frontrunners for his signature.

However, River Plate are now out the race, with the United States club valuation well out of their pricing range.

Money is no issue for West Ham. The Hammers are willing to take the risk on Castellanos in the hope of securing a clinical finisher to improve their attacking line.

Should West Ham meet the £12.8m valuation, it is unlikely New York City will have any objections to the transfer. The only issue then will be whether Castellanos himself wants to make the move.

The forward has already suggested he would be keen for a move to River Plate, which may affect West Ham’s plans.

Speaking in March, Castellanos suggested a move to Argentina would help him earn a dream call-up to his national squad.

He said: “If the head coach of Argentina knew I was playing for River Plate, one of the biggest clubs in the country, it would boost my chances. The truth is that River has been in constant communication with me and my agent.”

Valentin Castellanos to solve David Moyes striker problems

The Hammers have suffered with a lack of attacking options throughout the season.

After finishing seventh this season, West Ham will once again play European football inside the Europa Conference League.

This means once again Moyes will be forced to rotate his squad with a number of games set to be played midweek.

Currently, West Ham have just one first-team striker regularly used within the squad. Michael Antonio featured in 47 games last campaign, scoring 13 times as well as 11 assists.

Pep praises MLS winner Castellanos as West Ham target striker

West Ham are targeting Valentin Castellanos of New York City FC who has been praised by Pep Guardiola after MLS win

But back in March, the Jamaican striker admitted himself that his club should recruit a back-up in the summer.

Castellanos could well be the perfect fit for an alternative striker. The 23-year-old has time on his side, and is likely to improve his game over the next few years.

He has also already proven to be a clinical finisher. Last season, he won the MLS Golden Boot award with 19 goals in the MLS.

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