David Sullivan could atone for the horror show that was Sebastien Haller’s West Ham United career by signing David Moyes a second Michail Antonio type player in Besiktas forward Cyle Larin.
According to FotoMac, Larin is likely to be made available for a move away from Vodafone Park at the end of the season for just €9m (£8m).
That will be considered a huge boost for club figures at the London Stadium, after West Ham were tipped to pursue signing the Canadian international in the off-season having seen a €10m (£8.5m) bid knocked back in January.
The Irons were denied the chance to sign Larin in the winter as he wished to remain in the Super Lig for the remainder of the campaign as Sergen Yalcin’s side compete for the title, but is expected to consider a move away this summer.
Besiktas will be vulnerable to parting with Larin at the end of the term, as well, as he will enter the final 12-months of his current contract in June, which has made the Black Eagles hierarchy warm to entertaining reasonable offers.
Larin earns £28,000-per-week in Istanbul on his current deal, and has been involved in 19 goals (15 scored, 4 assisted) in 33 Super Lig games this season to help Besiktas top the table to rivals Fenerbahce.
The Vodafone Park natives would be eight points worse off without Larin’s goals, enough to slip behind Galatasaray in third for what would be a Europa League play-off position rather than direct qualification to the Champions League.
West Ham could face competition for Larin’s signature from Everton after the Goodison Park natives were claimed to have offered Besiktas the chance to sign Cenk Tosun in a player-plus-cash exchange, while West Bromwich Albion lodged an important bid in January.
Sullivan is certain to have the chequebook at the ready to improve Moyes’ attacking options at the end of the season, after West Ham opted against replacing Haller when the Ivorian joined AFC Ajax for £20m in January.
The decision left Antonio as Moyes’ only natural senior centre-forward option and be forced to rely on Jarrod Bowen playing out of position while the Englishman has been sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Antonio sustaining three hamstring injuries this season will also raise concerns over the 31-year-old’s suitability as Moyes’ leading striker long-term, with European football potentially coming to east London for next season.
Larin could solve that issue by being a second Antonio type for Moyes to interchange at his will, while seeing Sullivan atone for Haller’s horrific Hammers career that featured just 10 goals in 48 Premier League games following a club-record £45m transfer in 2019.
Haller flopped heavily following Moyes’ arrival to replace Manuel Pellegrini as he lacked the work ethic of Antonio, who the Scottish coach established as a striker after a career spent predominantly on the wings.
Larin would offer a similar player for Moyes to mould, with the 26-year-old offering seven of his 15 Super Lig goals and three of his four assists from 21 games on the left-wing, six goals and one assist from five outings on the right and two goals from seven central appearances.
The Besiktas striker has also been praised by the Black Eagles’ captain Atiba Hutchinson, who told Sporx: “There is serious development in Cyle’s game. Not only the goals he has scored, but also his work ethic, his understanding of the game, his approach to the game has changed. He is now a more complete player.”
And with Besiktas expected to sell Larin for less than what West Ham offered in January – and less than half of the fee paid by Ajax for Haller – Sullivan could restore a lot of credit with the Canadian lining up in claret and blue next season.
AND in other news, West Ham have been rocked by a double injury blow ahead of hosting Chelsea…