EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey
West Ham have opened talks about signing Switzerland centre-forward Albian Ajeti in a late-window swoop, Football Insider can reveal.
The Hammers are working on a deal to prise the prolific 22-year-old from his club Basel before Thursday’s cut-off in what would be their second summer striker deal.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider the club are exploring the possibility of a loan-to-buy deal for Ajeti rather than a permanent transfer.
Basel are holding out for a permanent move for a player they value at over the £8million mark, and an agreement between the clubs is some way off.
West Ham have set their sights on Ajeti despite already signing Sebastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt in a deal costing an initial £36million.
The club have lost Marko Arnautovic and Andy Carroll this summer, and are looking at bringing in another young centre-forward with his best years ahead of him.
They have been keeping close tabs on Ajeti and have scouted him while in action in the Champions League qualifiers and early domestic matches for his club.
Ajeti scored 21 goals in 43 matches for Basel last season and has an impressive record of a goal nearly every two games for his club, with 96 appearances yielding 43 goals and 21 assists.
He will become the club’s fifth summer recruit after Sebastien Haller, attacking midfielder Pablo Fornals and goalkeepers Roberto and David Martin this summer.