By Dominic Toner
West Ham are lining up a January bid for Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, according to a report.
The Daily Star claim that the Hammers are keen on signing the forward, but also face competition from London rivals Crystal Palace for his signature.
The report details that Newcastle would listen to offers matching their £14.5million valuation.
West Ham are currently struggling in the Premier League and are just a point above the relegation places, with their lack of goals proving costly.
Andy Carroll marked his comeback from injury with a goal against Arsenal on Saturday, but Slaven Bilic’s side were crushed 5-1 at home.
West Ham’s summer additions Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri have failed to make a significant impact, while Diafra Sakho is currently injured.
Mitrovic is currently trying to force his way into Newcastle’s starting line-up, with Dwight Gayle the preferred option under Rafael Benitez.
The 22-year-old has scored five goals in 13 appearances this season and has played a role in the club’s promotion challenge in the Championship.
The Serbia international has also been in good form for his country, scoring three goals in his last two appearances.
He is currently eyeing a return to the Premier League with Newcastle, but could be tempted to pursue regular football with West Ham.
Football Insider verdict:
West Ham should definitely make a January attempt to sign Mitrovic. The striker is blessed with bags of quality and would certainly add some firepower to the squad. The Hammers are really struggling for goals this campaign and Mitrovic has proven that he can score in the top-flight, netting nine Premier League goals last season. West Ham have found themselves in a relegation battle after a poor start and need a recognised goalscorer to help them climb the table. Mitrovic is particularly good in the air and could thrive from deliveries off Dimitri Payet. The striker appears to be a good option for the Hammers and they should make him a priority.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club are braced for a midfielder bid in January.