David Moyes should overlook Blackburn Rovers demanding £25m for Adam Armstrong and still look to bring the striker to West Ham United in the summer transfer window.
According to The Sun, the Ewood Park natives have set a club-record fee for a player sold if Armstrong is to leave the Championship side at the end of the season.
Moyes is thought to be leading the charge for the 20-goal forward, having carried out personal checks as he continues to assess options to fill the void left by Sebastien Haller.
Damien Duff’s £17m move to Chelsea in the summer of 2003 and Roque Santa Cruz’s transfer to Manchester City for the same fee six-years later remain the highest sums received by the Lancashire outfit to date.
Blackburn believe they can now demand a new record sum for the departure of Armstrong, following the moves from the Championship to Premier League made by the likes of Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma.
Watkins joined Aston Villa in September for £28m rising to £33m, while Benrahma initially signed a £5m loan deal with West Ham that the east London outfit turned permanent this January for a further £20m with £5m in potential add-ons.
Rovers also feel they have to demand a lucrative sum despite Armstrong being a free agent in 2022, as his former side Newcastle United will be due 40% of any profit on the £2m paid.
Moyes had considered making an £8m move to sign the 24-year-old during the recent winter market, but resisted the idea in favour of receiving further scouting reports ahead of an idealistic £10m summer bid.
Fulham and Everton are also said to be admirers of the second-tier hotshot but only consider Armstrong as a squad option for now, while the forward would not be opposed to rejoining his boyhood club Newcastle.
West Ham paying £25m outright for Armstrong will instantly place the 24-year-old among the Irons’ most expensive purchases in club history, with only the arrivals of £45m Haller and £36m Felipe Anderson setting the London Stadium natives back a higher initial fee.
If Moyes had hoped to only spend around £8m to £10m on Armstrong, it could make a deal for the attacker far more difficult than he imagined. Yet the Hammers boss should overlook the hike as the Blackburn star has been a sensation in the second-tier.
Only Brentford forward Ivan Toney (25) has scored more often in the Championship this season than Armstrong (19), who ranks first in the division for shots taken per game (4.7) and efforts struck on target (2.1), per WhoScored.
Armstrong additionally offers 1.1 successful dribbles per game, the eighth-most by forwards who have featured more than five times in the league this term and enough to rank fifth among all current West Ham players.
The Rovers star’s mobility is a key aspect of his game with Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray praising Armstrong for his “speed and dynamic movement,” while recently stating how the 5 ft 8 frontman is “special” and has “Premier League quality”.
That could make Armstrong the ideal back-up to Michail Antonio, who is lauded for ‘distracting and deforming’ defences through his movement to see that the 30-year-old does necessarily need to score to fulfil his role in West Ham’s attack.
So, if Armstrong is on the market – like is expected to be the case – Moyes should not let Blackburn’s valuation prevent West Ham from making a wise purchase.