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Crystal Palace lead West Ham in race for Bristol City forward Antoine Semenyo

Reports by TEAMtalk earlier this week claimed that Crystal Palace are leading the race for Antoine Semenyo, but David Moyes should urge West Ham United to secure the Bristol City star’s signature this summer.

The Hammers are said to be one of several Premier League clubs trailing the Eagles for the forward’s services after being identified by the Selhurst Park natives as the perfect fit for their squad as a potential new Yannick Bolasie type.

Semenyo is seen to have immense potential and has a huge advocate in Palace sporting director Dougie Freedman following a five-goal, seven-assist season after 44 appearances across all competitions so far this term.

Should West Ham sign Bristol City’s Semenyo?

Yes, he'd be perfect

Yes, he'd be perfect

No, he isn't good enough

No, he isn't good enough

A number of top-flight suitors are understood to be carrying out regular checks on the 21-year-old’s progress at Ashton Gate, including West Ham, Palace, Southampton and relegation-threatened trio Newcastle, Brighton and Sheffield United.

Championship high-flyers Norwich and Watford – who both look set to secure an immediate return to the Premier League – are also noted to be keen on the ex-Chelsea target, for whom the Blues bid £1m to sign in 2019 but failed to get a deal over the line.

Any club wishing to sign Semenyo this summer faces paying a large increase on the Stamford Bridge outfit’s offer, with Bristol Post reporting that the Robins are happy to trade on their terms and that a price tag of £10m is possible.

Bristol City are unlikely to stand in his way of a move out of Ashton Gate if Nigel Pearson’s side receive suitable offers, although it is added that no official approaches have so far been made and that no bids were tabled during the winter market.

Semenyo is under contract at the Championship club through to the summer of 2023 on £3,500-per-week terms, making him one of their lowest earners.

The forward would likely demand a significant pay rise to join a Premier League side in the off-season, yet the suspected asking price being touted should not see West Ham baulk in a bid to strengthen Moyes’ attacking options.

The Irons are expected to work heavily in the summer market clearing out deadwood on the wage bill, including £36m former record signing Felipe Anderson and £115,000-a-week top-earner Andriy Yarmolenko.

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Neither are likely to fetch anywhere near the fees paid by the Hammers in 2018, with claims that Anderson could be sold for just £17m and Yarmolenko let go for offers of between £5m and 6m.

Anderson may have spent the season on loan at FC Porto – where he has proven to be a disaster for the Liga NOS giants – and Yarmolenko has only started one Premier League game all term, but the pair are capable of at least providing Moyes with depth out wide.

The Irons boss also has a lack of depth at centre-forward after Sebastien Haller’s winter move to AFC Ajax left Michail Antonio as the sole striker at the London Stadium, but Semenyo could solve both concerns.

Pearson has utilised the 21-year-old at centre-forward and on either wing throughout Bristol City’s season, as the forward – once lauded by Martin Keown as an “exciting prospect” – has proven to be capable of netting and assisting as often when played out wide as he is through the centre.

If West Ham are only expected to make around £20m-25m through the sales of Anderson and Yarmolenko and likely chase a clinical centre-forward to challenge Antonio next term, beating Crystal Palace to Semenyo may be a very wise way to go.

AND in other news, West Ham land boost in £17m race to sign “one of the finest footballers” who was David Moyes’ dream target in 2020

Article title: Crystal Palace lead West Ham in race for Bristol City forward Antoine Semenyo

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