FIVE Players to follow Michu to West Ham

According to the East London and West Sussex Guardian, West Ham are plotting a surprise move for Swansea City striker Michu.

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 (Swansea City)[/ffc-gallery]


Neil Taylor
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:

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, 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.


IN: Yevheniy Konoplyanka:
According to the Express, West Ham have emerged as surprise candidates to sign coveted Premier League target Yevhen Konolpyanka.

The three-time Ukrainian Player of the Year has been in sensational form for Dnipro this season, especially in the Europa League…

Konoplyanka stats

…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.


According to Mirror Football, West Ham are eying a move for River Plate prodigy Eder Balanta:

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…

Recent speculation suggests although West Ham haven’t made a bid, a £6million offer would be enough to convince River Plate to sell.


Islam Slimani
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.

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:


Gareth Barry
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:

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:

Barry stats

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:


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