Embarking upon a historic move to the Olympic Stadium, the coming transfer window looks set to be one of incredibly ambitious recruitment for West Ham.
The Hammers have already attempted to decimate their club-record transfer fee on a new striker according co-chairman David Sullivan and the transfer window doesn’t officially open for another six weeks.
So with the Premier League’s unprecedented television deal also coming into effect and potentially the incentive of Europa League football on offer – should Manchester United beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final – the coming transfer window could well go down as the most expensive and aspiring ever witnessed in East London.
Consequentially, reports liking West Ham with incredibly ambitious signings have been overloading the tabloids’ rumour columns in recent weeks. In fact, there’s been so many that we’ve been able to draw up a select Xi of reported Hammers transfer targets.
This transfer target Xi would set the Irons back a whopping £139million – not that we’re expecting Slaven Bilic and co to sign all of them this summer!
Should the ever-consistent Adrian be whisked away from East London this summer, West Ham have already been linked with a potential replacement in Chelsea understudy Asmir Begovic. The Bosnian international more than established himself in the Premier League during five campaigns as Stoke City’s No.1 and has continued to impress at Stamford Bridge, albeit in fits and spurts due to his limited game-time. The 28-year-old can certainly hold down a starting berth at a top club and rated at just £9million by Transfermarkt, could be a bit of a coup for the Hammers.
Right-back has been a real problem area for the Hammers this season and the latest reports claim they’re prepared to address it with a swoop for Nice defender Jeremy Pied. The 27-year-old began his career as a winger but has excelled at No.2 this season, averaging an impressive 3.6 tackles, 3.1 interceptions, 1.1 successful dribbles and 1 created chance per match. The East Londoners are in the hunt to snap up the Frenchman on a free transfer, but face competition from St. Etienne.
Marc Bartra remains highly-rated at Barcelona but simply hasn’t developed as expected since making his debut in 2010, going on to register just 103 appearances across all competitions. But a versatile, athletic and technical centre-back oozing with La Masia pedigree, plenty of clubs are ready to swoop should he look to leave the Nou Camp as expected this summer – including West Ham. It’s believed the Catalans are prepared to part with the 25-year-old for around £9.5million.
The Irons have already confirmed a summer deal for Havard Nordtveit, who will arrive from Borussia Monchengladbach on a free transfer after making over 152 Bundesliga appearances for the German club – including 27 this season. It remains to be seen what position the Norway international will take in the West Ham starting line-up, having performed well as a holding midfielder and a centre-half in recent campaigns. But for this select Xi, the 25-year-old is slotting into the heart of defence.
Thomas Vermaelen’s move to Barcelona has become a bit of a nightmare, managing just eleven La Liga appearances since arriving at the Nou Camp in summer 2014. Nonetheless, that hasn’t deterred interest in bringing the former Arsenal captain back to the Premier League this summer, with West Ham, Chelsea and Liverpool reportedly in the frame. Preferring his left foot, we’re asking the 30-year-old to fill in at No.3 for the Hammers. But they’ll have to act quickly, amid reports Liverpool have already lodged a £7.5million bid.
Bournemouth have surpassed the expectations of many this season and Matt Ritchie has been at the heart of their surprisingly comfortable first Premier League campaign, claiming four goals and six assists in 36 league outings. The Scotland international is primarily a wideman but creative, hardworking and lacking natural pace, central midfield could end up being his ultimate position. According to Sky Sports, the Hammers have already seen a £25million bid rejected for the 26-year-old and team-mate Callum Wilson. We’re crediting Ritchie with two fifths of that sum.
Providing balance in this otherwise offensive midfield is Levante enforcer Victor Camarasa, who may not be a household name yet but is rapidly emerging as one of Spanish football’s most exciting young talents. The Spain international was unable to help his side beat the drop this season – in fact, they finished rock bottom of La Liga – but according to the tabloids, that could see West Ham snap him up for as little as £3million this summer.
There could not be a greater condemnation of Theo Walcott’s Arsenal career than his failure to make Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2016, suggesting the lightening-paced winger-forward needs a move this summer to revive his stuttering fortunes. Several sources claim the Hammers are prepared to provide it, including The Daily Mail. But taking into account he’s still just 27 years of age and under contract until 2019, Brentwood Gazette claim West Ham could end up spending as much as £26million on the struggling Gunners star.
Another big name struggling at a big club. Memphis Depay was deemed one of the top youngsters in world football upon arriving at Manchester United last summer, but just two goals from his debut Premier League campaign has instigated a disturbing fall from grace. Potential managerial upheaval during the offseason could see him further marginalised at Old Trafford and TransferMarketWeb claim West Ham are resultantly considering a £25million bid for the 22-year-old winger.
Hammers co-chairman David Sullivan revealed last week that the club have already launched a £24million bid for a striker in Ligue 1, believed to be Marseille’s Michy Batushayi. The Belgium international has on-pitch history with former team-mate Dimitri Payet and finished up with 17 goals and nine assists in 36 Ligue 1 outings for the 2015/16 campaign – an incredibly impressive return for a 22-year-old. However, Tottenham appear ready to contest their London rivals for the former Standard Liege star’s signature.
A star-studded striker has been the soundbite of West Ham’s transfer window build-up, so Football FanCast were always going to choose two for this select Xi. It’s been a tough season for Christian Benteke but he’s still Liverpool’s second-top scorer in the league after Roberto Firmino and more than established his Premier League credentials at Aston Villa, netting 49 times across three seasons. The Express claim the East London side are on the verge of tabling a £25million bid for the 6 foot 3 Belgian battering ram.