David Moyes has been dealt a blow in West Ham United’s rumoured pursuit of Moussa Marega, with Fenerbahce SK keen to sign the FC Porto striker.
According to A Bola, Marega’s services have never left the thoughts of the Fenerbahce leadership as the Super Lig giants line up a wealth of changes to Emre Belozoglu’s side.
The Yellow Canaries intend to complete a vast overhaul of the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium squad in the summer in order to attack the Super Lig and Europe at full strength next term.
West Ham had been linked with a potential move to sign Marega in the next transfer window, as Moyes weighs up his options to add depth behind Michail Antonio following Sebastien Haller’s January exit.
Marega is now said to be a high priority for Fenerbahce as the Mali international is set to leave Porto as a free agent at the end of the season, and discussions with Porto over new terms are yet to return a satisfactory offer.
It had been expected that the Dragoes would soon announce Marega’s renewal as the striker is a key weapon in Sergio Conceicao’s arsenal, with the only hold up being the wait for the arrival of his agent.
But no progress has been made following the offer of a two-year deal that would have seen Marega remain one of the highest earners at the Estadio do Dragao. The 29-year-old currently earns £34,000-per-week.
Reports in Turkey last month had suggested that Fenerbahce offered Marega a €1.5m-a-season (£24.5k-p/w) contract to move to Istanbul as a free agent, which Portuguese publication O Jogo later dismissed.
Moyes will be well aware of his need to sign a striker in the summer after opting against reinvesting the £20m made from Haller joining AFC Ajax, and leaving Antonio as West Ham’s only out-and-out senior centre-forward.
Marega would represent a solid option for the Irons to target and acquire proven depth, but will seemingly have to go toe-to-toe with Fenerbahce and Porto in order to sign the 24-cap Mali international.
The Yellow Canaries and Dragoes seem increasingly keen on having the £12.5m-rated machine in their attack next season, although Marega’s long-held desires to one day play in the Premier League may yet work in the Hammers’ advantage.
A salary in the region of the alleged £24.5k-p/w offer from Fenerbahce and his current £34k-p/w Porto deal would also not be expected to hinder West Ham’s position, with Spotrac figures showing that only Vladimir Coufal (£30k-p/w), Said Benrahma (£23k-p/w) and Ben Johnson (£19k-p/w) currently earn less among Moyes’ first-team regulars.
Adding Marega into that mix would see the Irons land a striker who has scored 71 goals and offered 33 assists in 182 games for Porto across all competitions, including eight in 22 Champions League fixtures and helping to eliminate Juventus in the Round of 16 last month – in fact, his career goal total stands at an impressive 114.
That seems like very good depth to bring in behind Antonio without David Sullivan having to get his cheque book out to pay Porto for their striker, who has been protected by a €40m (£34m) release clause since 2018 and is nicknamed the ‘Terminator’.