West Ham United are reportedly eying the perfect January swoop in Olympique Lyonnais forward Moussa Dembele.
According to The Sun, David Moyes’ London Stadium natives are on red alert to Dembele’s situation, as the former Celtic striker is growing frustrated at the Groupama Stadium where manager Rudi Garcia has often left him on the bench this season.
Moyes is a big admirer of the 24-year-old, and could be afforded the chance of presenting Dembele with a second crack at English football after emerging through Fulham’s academy before moving to Parkhead.
Lyon are considering cashing in on Dembele come the January market but are expected to demand at least £30million, while also insisting on substantial add-on clauses for the sought-after Manchester United target.
West Ham are claimed to have money to spend in the winter after failing to buy a striker this summer, and Moyes intends to utilise his war chest to find a replacement for Sebastien Haller having been opposed to fielding the Manuel Pellegrini signing this term.
Moyes has so far only felt fit to start Haller in two Premier League fixtures this season, with both coming since losing Michail Antonio to a hamstring injury. The West Ham boss would be able to move on from the Irons’ £45m record signing by acquiring Dembele, though.
The Lyon ace is yet to open his scoring for the term in Ligue 1, having been restricted to four starts from nine with five further appearances from the bench, but struck home 24 times in 46 games across all competitions last season – including netting a game-winning brace over Manchester City in the Champions League Quarter-Final.
Dembele would also suit Moyes’ tactics far better than Haller, who the Scot believes does not bring the same energy to the sole-striker position in his formation that Antonio can offer.
Eintracht Frankfurt extracted the most from Haller when the forward was fielded alongside Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic, leading to 20 goals and 12 assists in the 2018/19 season. Dembele, meanwhile, may not be not considered the next Kylian Mbappe or Neymar, but is rather seen as the next Olivier Giroud for France through his ability both on and off the ball.
“Moussa has always been a complete player,” Laurent Bonadei, who coached Dembele while he was a rising star of Paris Saint-Germain’s academy, told Goal.
“He’s not a player who will dribble three players in a phone booth, like Mbappe or Neymar, but he can become Giroud’s successor in the French team, because he doesn’t hesitate to go into duels and work for the collective.”
Bonadei’s praise for Dembele was perfectly reflected by his efforts against Manchester City in last season’s Champions League Quarter-Final, when he came off the bench to flip the tie in the Ligue 1 outfit’s favour with a brace from two shots while attempting four duels in 15 minutes, per SofaScore.
Moyes would undoubtedly adore having a player of Dembele’s ilk at the London Stadium, it just remains to be seen if David Sullivan is willing to match Lyon’s minimum £30m valuation for a player tipped to succeed France’s second-best goalscorer of all-time.