Report: West Ham enter race for £13m-rated forward, face competition from PL rivals
By Derek Smithson
West Ham are interested in signing Montpellier striker Steve Mounie, according to a report.
The Daily Mirror claim that the Hammers have now entered the race for the 22-year-old forward from Ligue 1.
It is understood that Premier League rivals Watford and West Brom are also targeting the Benin international, with the latter “particularly interested” as they look to fill the void left by loanee M’Baye Niang.
The report details that Mounie is rated at £13million after his strong performances in the French league last season.
Mounie was one of Montpellier’s outstanding players last season as they slumped to a 15th-placed league finish, their lowest position since the 2013/14 campaign.
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The young striker managed to keep his side away from the relegation places with his prolific form in front of goal.
He made 38 appearances across all competitions last season, scoring 15 goals and supplying three assists in return.
Mounie is yet to experience club football outside of France, but a number of Premier League sides clearly believe he could be well suited to the English league.
Football Insider verdict:
West Ham certainly need to bolster their frontline ahead of next season if they are to fulfil their ambition of competing for the European spots. Slaven Bilic has a wide range of attacking options at his disposal, but need someone who can deliver on a weekly basis. Andy Carroll and Diadro Sakho are both injury-prone, while youngster Ashley Fletcher is still developing. Mounie is a promising talent that made an effortless step up into the French top flight last season, which suggests the 22-year-old is only going to improve. The forward is strong in the air and also has a calmness in front of goal. However, £13million for a player that is not yet tested in England could be seen as a major risk and the Hammers need someone who can come straight into their starting XI.
In other West Ham transfer news, they are looking to offload their £37,000-a-week attacker.