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6th Jan, 2017 | 3:49pm

Betting update: West Ham installed favourites to sign striker after reported talks this week

By Amir Mir

West Ham are favourites to sign Celtic ace Moussa Dembele after reported talks, according to the latest bookmakers odds.

Leading bookmaker Sky Bet have priced the Premier League club at 9/2 to sign the Bhoys striker before February 3.

The Daily Mail claimed that the Hammers held talks with Celtic this week and indicated they were willing to pay £20million to sign the former Fulham player.

But it is said that the Scottish Champions insist that the mega offer from the London club was not a formal bid and they would not countenance his sale in any case.

Dembele has been in scintillating form for Brendan Rodgers side this season, scoring 19 goals in 36 Scottish Premiership, League Cup and Champions League games.

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Those goals include five in three against Old Firm rivals Rangers, including a hat-trick during the SPL encounter in September.

The betting company also have Liverpool at odds of 20/1 to sign the highly-rated forward, while their title rivals Manchester City come in at odds of 33/1.

Slaven Bilic’s side are struggling in the Premier League this season, with their top scorer Michail Antonio on eight goals.

Sky Sports claimed on Friday morning that West Ham had given up on the hope of signing Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe after placing a bid of £6 million last week.

Summer signing duo, Simone Zaza and Ashley Fletcher have failed to score a Premier League goal this season, while Diafra Sakho continues to be haunted by injury problems.

Target-man Andy Carroll has netted on two occasions this term as the Irons bid to move further away from the relegation zone.

They are currently seven points ahead of the bottom three following their 2-0 loss to Manchester United on Monday evening.

In other West Ham transfer news, Slaven Bilic has made an emphatic decision on the future of this 25-year-old.