David Moyes can end his search for West Ham United’s next striker by landing another Michail Antonio in Blackburn Rovers star Adam Armstrong.
According to Lancs Live, there is an acceptance at the Ewood Park outfit that Armstrong may have to be sold in the summer transfer window in order to fund their recruitment drive.
Rovers are in a position where they cannot rely on owners Venky’s investment to support their activity in the off-season, when boss Tony Mowbray will have several gaps to plug.
Blackburn are due to lose five players once their loan deals expire at the end of the season, and have close to a dozen players also out of contract in June.
The only position in which the Lancashire outfit are not expected to address is in goal, with 28-year-old Thomas Kaminski keeping eight clean sheets in 28 Championship appearances since penning a two-year deal with the option of a third last summer.
Given the situation, Blackburn are inclined to sell their top-talents like Armstrong for the right offer, with a belief that short-term pain could prove worthwhile long-term.
West Ham have been credited with an interest in Armstrong frequently since the turn of the year, though Moyes opted against tabling an £8m offer in January following Sebastien Haller’s exit, per The Sun.
The Irons boss is instead thought to want to see how Armstrong tackles the second half of the season, though could face competition from Everton, Fulham and Newcastle United this summer.
It remains to be seen how Armstrong performs between now and the end of the season, but the striker hit the ground running coming out of the summer and has 19 goals in 30 Championship games to his name.
Only Ivan Toney (24) has found the back of the net more often than Armstrong this term, though the Brentford ace is playing in a side competing for automatic promotion while Blackburn are seeing their faint Play-Off hopes dwindle after five-straight defeats.
Armstrong fired home in two of those loses, and has earned vast praise from his manager, Mowbray, throughout the campaign.
“I think Adam Armstrong is asset rich. He’s lightning fast off the mark, he plays on the shoulders [of defenders], he can score with both feet – he can score all sorts of goals,” the Rovers boss said earlier this month. “He can shoot from distance, he can go round the goalie and he can side-foot it in with both feet; he’s very, very clinical.”
How much West Ham would have to pay to land Armstrong in the summer remains to be seen, with The Sun quoting a £10m+ fee for the £17,000-per-week frontman while Chronicle Live believe Blackburn valued the 2022 free-agent as high as £30m earlier in the term.
But Moyes and co-owner David Sullivan meeting the Ewood Park outfit’s demands, however much they may be, could see the pair bring another Antonio story to the London Stadium.
Antonio arrived at West Ham from Nottingham Forest in 2015 after one full campaign at the Championship side, where he struck 16 goals and provided 15 assists in 50 league games.
Moyes needs another option behind Antonio after Haller’s exit and could do far worse than signing another in the mould of the Englishman.