Report: West Ham adjust striker targets after snubs, Premier League free-scorer on radar
By West Ham correspondent Tony Hughes
West Ham are ready to add Graziano Pelle to their striker shortlist following a series of snubs, according to a report.
Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Emanuele Giulianelli claims in an interview that the Hammers are preparing to join the suitors interested in Southampton’s Pelle.
Giulianelli has also said that Juventus’ Simone Zaza is the most likely of the many forwards targeted by West Ham this summer to join their ranks.
The Hammers have made clear their ambitions to spend big on attacking talent in the forthcoming transfer window.
But they failed with a bid to sign Michy Batshuayi, who has declared he is leaving Marseille to join Chelsea, and have been frustrated in their pursuit of the likes of Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson and Liverpool’s Christian Benteke.
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Pelle has been linked with a number of clubs following the departure of Ronald Koeman, who is reportedly keen on taking the Italy international to Everton.
Pelle, who was signed by Koeman at Feyenoord in 2013 before following him to Southampton 12 months later, will cost around the £9million mark.
The 30-year-old had a creditable 2015-16 season, scoring a total of 14 goals in all competitions for Southampton, and has netted twice for Italy at Euro 2016.
Zaza has spent much of this season on the bench for Juventus – as well as for Italy during Euro 2016 – but West Ham will still face a battle to acquire the services of the £15million-rated spearhead.
West Ham are ready to smash their club record transfer fee this summer of £15.5million, which was spent to entice Andy Carroll from Liverpool in the summer of 2013.
Carroll is comfortably the Hammers’ record signing, although the club have also spent £10million-plus fees on the likes of Payet, Enner Valencia and Angel Ogbonna.
In other West Ham transfer news, teen sensation Reece Oxford is increasingly likely to leave the club this summer.