By Matt Farr
West Ham have entered a four-horse Premier League race to land PSG defender Fode Ballo-Toure in the summer, according to a report.
The highly-rated 20-year-old comes to the end of his youth contract in the summer, and French news outlet Madeinfoot claim that West Ham have joined Everton, Tottenham and Liverpool in the hunt for his signature.
It also believed that a host of Championship clubs, including Bristol City, Aston Villa and Brighton are also keen, while there is also interest from some of Paris-Saint Germain’s domestic rivals.
Ballo-Toure rose to prominence in the French capital in this season’s UEFA Youth League, where the full-back has contributed one goal and three assists from 22 appearances.
But PSG are reported to be unlikely to offer him a professional contract in the summer.
This will be good news for West Ham, who are in the hunt for more defensive reinforcements. The Hammers have been hit by injuries this term, and do not have sufficient backup in the full-back positions.
The availability of the PSG youngster could provide a reasonable solution to Slaven Bilic’s search, with Artur Masuaku yet to convince as back-up to first-choice left-back Aaron Cresswell.
His age would also make him a decent long-term investment, particularly for a club that has three defenders over the age of 30 within the first-team squad.
Football Insider verdict
Given his potential, Ballo-Toure would be a decent investment. Bilic and West Ham made some questionable decisions back in the summer in the transfer market, but they could reverse that process by landing the PSG youngster. Ballo-Toure wouldn’t be a regular first-team player at West Ham, because of Cresswell, but he can still have an important role to play. The Hammers have a decent group of young players coming through the ranks in the first-team, including Reece Oxford, Toni Martinez and Ashley Fletcher, and Ballo-Toure would fit in well.
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