In Focus: West Ham only like to sign Theo Walcott if they can take him on loan

According to reports in The Sun, West Ham United will have to pay at least £30m if they want to sign Arsenal winger Theo Walcott during the January transfer window.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Sun says that Southampton are leading the chase to sign the 28-year-old star this month, but they face competition from Everton and Newcastle, while The Express says that West Ham have also joined their three Premier League rivals in the race to sign the England international.

However, The Sun says that as the player has 18 months left on his £140,000-a-week contract, Arsenal want a fee of more than £30m if they are to consider selling the forward before January 31, with the Irons likely to prefer a loan deal.

How has Walcott done this season?

He has done well, but he has been relying on game time in the cup competitions with his minutes restricted in the Premier League.

The 28-year-old has scored four goals and provided a further five assists in eight appearances in the Europa League and the EFL Cup, but he has only played 49 minutes across five substitute outings in the English top flight.

Would he be a good signing for West Ham?

He certainly would be.

The Arsenal attacker has huge experience in the Premier League and in European competition, while he has proven throughout his career that he is capable of finding the net on a regular basis when he is given a consistent run in the starting line-up.

With rumours circulating that Andre Ayew, Diafra Sako and Andy Carroll could all potentially be leaving the London Stadium this month, the east London outfit may well require an attacking addition before the window slams shut.

Would they pay more than £30m for him?

They probably wouldn’t, no.

While Moyes should have a decent budget to work with in January, it is unlikely to stretch to spending more than £30m on one player.

A loan deal is the most likely for West Ham and their Premier League rivals, but Arsene Wenger and Arsenal may take some convincing to agree to that deal.