West Ham United are interested in a deal to bring Hugo Ekitike to the London Stadium in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by French publication Le10 Sport (via Sport Witness), who claim that David Moyes’ side have made an offer of around €15m (£12.5m) for the 19-year-old Stade Reims centre-forward, with the Ligue 1 side and the France U21 international believed to be taking time to reflect on the proposal before getting back to West Ham with a decision.
The report goes on to state that Newcastle United are also interested in a move for the teenager this month, with it even being suggested that the Magpies had tabled a €35m (£29m) offer for the striker, however, according to Le10 Sport, Reims have only received one bid for Ekitike at present, and that is from the Hammers.
Considering the sheer amount of potential that Ekitike quite clearly possesses, in addition to West Ham’s rather desperate need for much greater depth at centre-forward, it is unsurprising to learn of Moyes’ interest in a move for the 19-year-old this January.
Indeed, over his 17 Ligue 1 appearances so far this season, the £5.4m-rated centre-forward has been in astonishing form for Reims, having already scored eight goals, registered three assists and created two big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.2 shots and making 0.5 key passes per game.
These returns have seen the highest scoring teenager in Europe’s top five leagues average a highly impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.88, ranking him as the French side’s 11th-best performer in the division.
Furthermore, as a result of his rapid rise and impressive return of goals at such a young age, many in France have drawn comparisons between Ekitike and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, with Graeme Bailey stating on Twitter: “Many in France believe he could be the next Mbappe.”
As such, should the West Ham board indeed manage to seal a deal for the player who is said to possess “the mentality of Kobe Bryant in a 19-year-old’s body” this month, it would appear that Moyes could very much have an extremely exciting prospect on his hands in the second half of the current campaign.
And, who knows, should Ekitike continue his current rate of development following a potential switch to East London in January, the 58-year-old manager may even be in possession of the next Mbappe – something that is undoubtedly an extremely exciting thought for everyone involved with the Hammers.