By London correspondent Tony Hughes
West Ham are ready to hijack Tottenham’s swoop for Argentine striker sensation Jonathan Calleri, according to a report.
It has been reported in Brazil that Spurs have reached a verbal agreement to sign the forward this summer.
But the Evening Standard claimed on Tuesday that the Londoners are weighing up a loan move for the 22-year-old.
Calleri, who is regarded as an emerging star in his native Argentina, is on loan at Brazilian club Sao Paulo via a Uruguayan side but his registration is held by an investment group.
Yahoo! Brasil claim Calleri’s father Guillermo has informed Sao Paulo that Tottenham have agreed to sign his son this summer and he will move to White Hart Lane when the Copa Libertadores is over. This would mean he is set to complete a transfer to Tottenham in August.
Intriguingly, West Ham are said to be now closely monitoring the player’s situation, although they are considering a loan deal rather than a permanent transfer.
Any buyer wanting to negotiate a permanent deal would have to buy the registration outright from the investors, although the fee would represent good value for a striker in comparison with some of the price tags demanded for emerging Europe-based strikers.
Calleri will also be granted an Italian passport this summer – he qualifies via his grandparents – which will mean he can move to the Premier League without any need for a work permit.
Calleri hit the headlines last summer with a stunning rabona goal for former club Boca Juniors against Quilmes.
He has since been loaned to Sao Paulo for six months via a Uruguayan club and 10 matches for the Brazilian side have yielded an impressive eight goals.
This virtual goal-a-game record has made Premier League clubs take notice, while Calleri also scored a creditable 21 goals in 53 matches for Argentine big-hitters Boca Juniors.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Thierry Henry is convinced the club will lure big-name signings in the forthcoming windows.