By Wayne Veysey

9th Jan, 2021 | 9:38am

Exclusive: Dembele responds to West Ham swoop, offer lined up

Moussa Demebele has knocked back the chance to join West Ham this month, Football Insider can reveal.

The Lyon striker is one of multiple striker targets for the London club after they sold Sebastien Haller to Ajax on Friday in a £20million deal.

A source with knowledge of Dembele’s situation has told Football Insider the player has made it clear he does want to sign for West Ham or any other club in the current window.

The 25-year-old instead wants to stay at Lyon and try and help them challenge for the title and a place in next season’s Champions League.

It means West Ham will have to turn to other targets as they look to secure a replacement for Sebastien Haller by the 1 February cut-off.

As revealed by Football Insider on Thursday, the club are lining up a new offer for Bournemouth’s Josh King.

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The Hammers tabled a number of bids last summer for the forward, who turns 29 next week, that were rejected by the Championship club.

Reports in France suggested David Moyes’ side were closing in on Dembele this month despite a difficult season for the Lyon man.

He has scored just once in 16 appearances and is currently recovering from a broken arm suffered in training shortly before Christmas.

Dembele is not expected to return to full fitness until mid-February and will then look to regain his place in the Lyon attack.

Dembele is well known to British audiences after making his name at Fulham in his teens before a goal-drenched spell at Celtic.

The former France Under-21 international then continued that form in France and his 24 goals in all competitions last season saw him linked with Man United.

In other news, West Ham race to sign aerial colossus ahead of Leeds United.