According to reports in the Daily Mail, West Ham United are ready to step up their interest in Krasnodar striker Fyodor Smolov after watching him score at the weekend, but they could face competition for his signature from Bundesliga duo Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke.
Well, the Daily Mail says an Irons scout watched the Russia captain find the net in his side’s 1-0 win against Ual Sver Oblast on Sunday, to continue what has been an impressive season for the 27-year-old.
The Daily Mail says that West Ham boss David Moyes is keen to strengthen his attacking options during the January transfer window, and Smolov’s record in front of goal makes him an attractive proposition.
The report adds that the attacker is said to be keen on a move to the Premier League and London in particular, and he wouldn’t see it as a risk as he is almost guaranteed to lead his country out at the World Cup in his home nation next summer.
However, the interest from Leverkusen and Schalke could make a potential transfer more difficult.
He has been excellent.
The centre-forward has scored 12 goals in 16 appearances for club and country this term despite suffering with a hamstring injury earlier in the campaign.
The fact that he is Russia skipper also shows the leadership skills that he has, and that could be a trait that Moyes is looking for to ensure that West Ham stay away from a relegation battle this season.
While it is always a risk to bring in a player from abroad that has never played in England before, Smolov looks to have all of the attributes and traits to be a success in the Premier League.
Not only is he 6ft 2in tall and decent in the air, but WhoScored.com says that just a couple of his strengths are holding on to, and dribbling with, the ball.
Smolov would be a more mobile option up top than Andy Carroll is, and a move for the 27-year-old would suggest that Carroll could be on his way out of the London Stadium having struggled to make an impact this term.