The once-capped Spain international proved to be an astute purchase for the Welsh outfit in summer 2012, going on to claim 18 goals in his debut Premier League season.
But a combination of recurring injuries and the sensational rise of Wilfried Bony saw him struggle for fitness and form last term, netting just twice all year. Resultantly, the 28 year-old is verging upon ‘forgotten man’ status at the Liberty Stadium.
And with Sam Allardyce charged with the task of evolving the Hammers’ attritional style this summer, the 6 foot 1 forward, famed for his tidy football and ability to drop into midfield, is seen as a perfect acquisition at just £6million.
But it will unlikely be the Upton Park gaffer’s final acquisition of the summer, so here’s FIVE players that could soon follow Michu to East London – some inspired by his arrival, others more coincidental.
Michu could soon find himself joined at Upton Park by Swansea team-mate Neil Taylor, with West Ham believed to be one of the clubs in the mix to sign the disillusioned defender:
Sunderland, Tottenham, Southampton, West Ham and Hull want Swansea’s Neil Taylor http://t.co/xgBg30tBmf
— Off The Post (@offthepost) May 12, 2014
The Wales international earned widespread acclaim for his performances during the Welsh outfit’s inaugural Premier League campaign.
But since breaking his ankle in September 2012, the left-back has failed to reclaim his first team place from former understudy Ben Davies.
Resultantly, Walesonline.com claim the 25 year-old will seek pastures new this summer unless he’s given assurances of first team football.
But having rejected a £5million bid from Fulham in January, the Swans appear to determined to hold out for a lucrative offer.
According to the Express, West Ham have emerged as surprise candidates to sign coveted Premier League target Yevhen Konolpyanka.
Daily Express claim West Ham are hoping to beat Tottenham and others to the signature of Dnirpo winger Konoplyanka. #THFC
— Hotspur Related (@HotspurRelated) June 23, 2014
The three-time Ukrainian Player of the Year has been in sensational form for Dnipro this season, especially in the Europa League…
…and also netted this wonder strike against England at Wembley back in 2012:
The 24 year-old winger comes with a £12million release clause, but also on the radars of Manchester United, Spurs and Liverpool, the Hammers face stiff competition for his signature.
— Spurs Family (@spurs_family) May 24, 2014
According to Mirror Football, West Ham are eying a move for River Plate prodigy Eder Balanta:
West Ham plot transfer of Colombian Eder Balanta from River Plate: The young defender is being watched by a… http://t.co/IQlAy14N1L
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) June 21, 2014
The 21 year-old defender has thoroughly impressed since his debut for the Argentine side in 2012, making 30 appearances since and muscling his way into the Colombian national team.
He’s described on FIFA’s website as “left-footed, powerfully built, strong in the air and a fearless tackler … blessed with skill and speed.”
And apparently he’s a beast on Football Manager…
Eder Balanta – Football Manager legend
— West Ham Central (@WestHam_Central) June 22, 2014
So apparently were scouting Eder Alvarez Balanta. Football manager legend haha.
— Liam⚽️ (@LiamAddisonWHU) June 22, 2014
Recent speculation suggests although West Ham haven’t made a bid, a £6million offer would be enough to convince River Plate to sell.
River Plate have said that they have not received a bid from West Ham for Eder Balanta, but a £6m bid would be enough to open talks. #WHUFC
— WHUFCTV.com (@WHUFCTV) June 24, 2014
According to Portuguese site A Bola, West Ham have made a bid for Sporting Lisbon’s Islam Slimani, having initially tried to sign him on a loan deal in January.
Trabzonspor and West Ham have made bids for Algerian star and Sporting striker Islam Slimani. Sporting want €8m. [A Bola]
— Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) June 24, 2014
The 6 foot 1 striker has proved a decent cameo signing for the Portuguese capital outfit since joining them from Algerian side Belouizdad last summer, finding eight goals in ten league starts and sixteen substitute outings. Here’s the highlights of the Algeria international’s debut season with Leoes:
The 26 year-old certainly seems a good fit for the Hammers’ direct style, boasting significant power and ability in the air. He’s shown strong form at the World Cup too, finding one goal and one assist in one start for Algeria, including this goal against South Korea:
But recent speculation suggests interest from the East Londoners will be rivalled by Stoke City:
— Keith Wales (@SentinelSportEd) June 24, 2014
It’s no secret that West Ham are keen to acquire the services of Gareth Barry this summer, with the Daily Mail documenting Sam Allardyce’s interest in the former England international back in May:
West Ham have joined the race to sign Gareth Barry, who is out-of-contract. #WHUFC (Daily Mail)
— Football Galaxy (@FootbalIGalaxy) May 27, 2014
The Premier League veteran is now a free agent after officially leaving Manchester City, and was in sensational form on loan to Everton last season:
Here’s Alan Hansen signing Barry’s praises on Match of the Day following an impressive performance against Norwich last term:
Boasting a mixture of physicality and technical quality, the 33 year-old would be an ideal signing to evolve the Hammers’ much-maligned attritional brand of football.
But there will be significant competition for his signature, with Arsenal linked and the Toffees keen to sign Barry on a permanent deal:
Gareth Barry has told Everton he will make a decision on his future next month amid new interest from Arsenal. (Source: talkSPORT)
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) June 14, 2014