By Danny Wright
Everton and West Ham are interested in Werder Bremen attacker Max Kruse, according to a report.
German news outlet Bild claims that Southampton, West Brom and Stoke are also keeping tabs on the 29-year-old who has been in hot form in the Bundesliga this season.
It is also understood that Chinese club Tianjin Quanjin are keen on the in-demand German international, who has four goals in 14 appearances for his nation.
According to Bild, Kruse is contracted to Bremen until 2019 and manager Frank Baumann has said that his side are “not eager to surrender Max”.
West Ham have rather limited striking options due to the ongoing injuries that have plagued Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho while Everton might be preparing for life without Romelu Lukaku in the future as he seeks Champions League football.
Any Premier League team that lands Kruse though will have a proven goal scorer on their hands.
The Bremen attacker has scored 15 goals in 23 Bundesliga appearances this season, which for him began in November due to a ligament injury.
He ended the season by scoring nine goals in nine games, which included a four goal haul in the 4-2 win at Ingolstadt in April.
Football Insider Verdict
All of the English clubs that are interested in Kruse definitely need a new attacker over the summer. West Ham and Everton are possibly more desperate than most due to the high expectations of their fans and struggles with their current strikers. The Bundesliga is a very strong league and Bremen have been a breeding ground for good talent in the past so there’s not a lot of risk in signing a forward who knows how to find the net in Germany. Kruse doesn’t shy away from the big games either and has scored against both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund this term. He would be a very handy addition for any Premier League side.
In other Everton news, the Toffees have had a seven-figure bid for this attacker rejected by a London club.