West Ham’s search for striking reinforcements could lead to a move for Sevilla striker Luuk de Jong, 90min understands.
The Hammers are in the market for a number of new signings, although they have only been able to conclude a loan deal for goalkeeper Alphonse Areola to date.
The club’s lack of transfer activity has not been for the want of trying. Manager David Moyes is keen to recruit a striker and central defender first and foremost, but he also wants to fill out his squad as the club prepare to venture into this season’s Europa League.
Michail Antonio is currently West Ham’s only recognised senior striker – which is an obvious concern given the workload he could face this season and his patchy injury record – and 90min understands that the club are actively looking to address that area, with Sevilla striker De Jong now a potential option.
The Dutchman will be allowed to leave the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium this summer as Sevilla are close to announcing a £12m deal for Wolves striker Rafa Mir. He had previously been in talks with Atletico Madrid, but 90min has learned that a deal has been agreed with the Andalusians and it’s only a matter of time before that move is confirmed.
De Jong does have some Premier League experience under his belt – a short loan spell at Newcastle back in 2014 – but he wasn’t able to register a goal in 12 appearances on Tyneside. He is a regular in the Netherlands national team, though, and has been a prolific goalscorer in the Eredivisie throughout his career.
Though his record with Sevilla is not quite as impressive – scoring just 19 times in 94 appearances all competitions – De Jong’s ability to hold up the ball and bring others into play is one of his strongest suits; traits that could bring the best out of Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma and West Ham’s other attack minded players.
Standing 6’2, he’s also very capable in the air, and perhaps more importantly he has a very good track record with injuries. Indeed, De Jong has played 39 games or more in six of his last seven seasons, and has vast experience playing in both the Champions League and Europa League.
In terms of other possible incomings, West Ham are still hopeful of agreeing a deal for Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma – but the goalposts need to move significantly in terms of asking price and personal terms. The Blues are holding firm with their £25m valuation and 90min understands that West Ham’s position has not changed – they will not pay that.
The Frenchman’s wage demands are also fairly excessive, although a move cannot be completely ruled out. Interest remains in bringing Jesse Lingard back to the London Stadium in some capacity, while there is also ongoing admiration for the likes of Duje Caleta-Car and Mouctar Diakhaby. A deal for Nikola Milenkovic is off, however – he’s signed a new contract at Fiorentina.