West Ham United are believed to keen on Argentine striker Giovanni Simeone, according to reports in Italy.
As per Wednesday’s edition of newspaper Corriere di Verona (via Sports Witness), the Hammers have been named as one of the clubs who are keeping tabs on the 26-year-old, with a summer move seemingly on the cards for the five-cap international.
The forward spent the most recent campaign on loan at Serie A side outfit Hellas Verona from parent club Cagliari, although is expected to move on in the upcoming window even if his temporary switch is made permanent.
Verona are believed to be able to complete the signing for a fee of around €10.5m (£8.9m), although will then likely sell him on for profit, with both West Ham and Newcastle United potentially set to pounce.
The former Fiorentina man – who is the son of Atletico Madrid boss, Diego – has put himself on the radar of a number of clubs across Europe following his remarkable goalscoring spree in the 2021/22 campaign.
In 35 league outings in the Italian top-flight, the £15.3m-rated marksman netted an impressive 17 goals while also laying on a further five assists, with only three players having scored more goals in the division.
Such form has also seen the £47k-per-week ace compare favourably to those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, with the “fearless” forward – as he has been described by journalist Martin Mazur – ranking in the top 11% for non-penalty goals, while also showcasing his defensive qualities as he ranks in the top 7% for blocks and the top 16% for pressures made.
Although never truly prolific prior to this latest season, such a sensational season is hard to ignore, with the Madrid-born star potentially the man to fill the striking void at the London Stadium.
The Hammers currently have just Michail Antonio as their only senior, recognised centre-forward – having failed to replace club-record flop Sebastian Haller – with the Jamaica international himself admitting the need for increased competition.
Despite an early flurry at the start of the season, the 30-year-old has rubberstamped the belief that he is not a long-term fit to lead the line, enduring a notable dry spell in 2022 in which he scored just three league goals following the turn of the year.
His total tally of 13 goals in all competitions is his best return in a season for the club, although that remains a relatively underwhelming figure for a number nine, particularly when compared to Simeone’s haul last term.
Also – somewhat surprisingly – Antonio ranks poorly for his defensive work compared to the potential new arrival, ranking in just the top 47% for pressures made and the top 51% for blocks made.
That’s not to suggest that Moyes and co should dispense with him this summer, although a quality replacement is needed if the east Londoners are to really kick on next season, with Simeone seemingly the man for the job.