West Ham could hijack James Tarkowski swoop after source's Everton reveal - pundit
Noel Whelan has backed West Ham to gazump Everton in the race to sign soon-to-be free agent James Tarkowski this summer.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed European football and the “allure” of playing in the capital could tempt the 29-year-old to the London Stadium.
An Everton source told this site on Saturday (30 April) that the Toffees are interested in signing Tarkowski on a free transfer this summer – if they can preserve their Premier League status.
Everton director of football Kevin Thelwell was at Turf Moor last month (24 April) to run the rule over the centre-back during Burnley’s 1-0 Premier League win over Wolves.
Whelan claimed Everton face “stiff competition” from the Irons this summer.
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“It would make sense for Everton, for sure,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.
“Michael Keane hasn’t been at the same level as we’ve seen from him before, and there have been defensive frailties all season long.
“However, I very much doubt that Everton will be the only side in for Tarkowski this summer.
“I think West Ham have been interested for a long time, and they’re obviously in need of centre-backs right now.
“If European football is on offer for Tarkowski, and the allure of playing in London – it’s very hard to turn that sort of interest down.
“Everton will face some really stiff competition if they’re to get this one over the line, I’m sure.
“He’d bolster their backline though – there’s no doubt about it.”