By Matt Farr
West Ham are plotting a summer move for Sampdoria goalscorer Luis Muriel, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Premier League side are willing to meet the £24million buy-out clause in the striker’s contract, having made a goalscorer a priority signing this summer.
The keen interest from West Ham comes despite the 26-year-old recently putting pen-to-paper on a new contract that will see him remain at the Serie A club until the end of the 2018-19 campaign.
Muriel was in red hot form for Sampdoria last season, scoring 13 goals and supplying nine assists from 33 appearances in all competitions.
West Ham, meanwhile, struggled in the Premier League without a prolific goalscorer in their ranks, with the injury-prone Andy Carroll scoring the most goals (seven) of any of their centre-forward options last term.
The Hammers have already been linked with a host of potential goalscoring options ahead of the new season, but a move for Muriel represents one of the most expensive options on their radar.
Muriel is understood to be ready for a fresh challenge, and there will be no shortage of potential suitors if Sampdoria permit him to quit the club this summer.
Premier League rivals Leicester City and Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in the Colombia international, while both AS Roma and Inter Milan could offer him an extended stay in Italy.
Football Insider verdict
It is no secret that West Ham are in desperate need of at least one prolific goalscorer this summer, but Muriel is far from the best option. He scored only 13 goals for Sampdoria last season, and the Hammers should pursue an attacker with a more proven track record, particularly given how much it will cost for them to land him. The best candidates are not likely to come cheap, and West Ham will understand that, but they would be much better off throwing their money at options elsewhere.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club have reportedly launched an £8.7million bid for this teenage attacker.