West Ham reignite pursuit of mega-money striker with new bid after losing out on duo - report
By London correspondent Tony Hughes
West Ham have reignited their pursuit of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette after a series of transfer blows, according to a report.
The Hammers have made a number of massive bids for the prolific forward, with the Evening Standard claiming they had a £32million offer rejected, before growing frustrated in their pursuit.
But the Telegraph now report that West Ham have returned to the negotiating table this week in one final attempt to prise the in-demand forward from Paris.
It is said that, after missing out on their second choice, Michy Batshuayi, who has joined Chelsea for £33million, and with Crystal Palace hoping to seal a move for their third choice, Christian Benteke, for £31.5million, the London club made one final effort for Lacazette.
However, West Ham’s latest move for Lacazette was rejected amid growing confidence among Lyon chiefs that the forward will remain at the club.
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The player is said to be unsure whether to leave after Lyon qualified for next season’s Champions League.
There have also been fears among West Ham chiefs believe that the club is being used simply to hike up the price for a striker who has already decided to join Paris Saint-Germain as a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
West Ham will now have to decide whether to return to the negotiating table to attempt to meet the apparent £40million valuation for 24-year-old Lacazette, who scored 21 goals in 34 Ligue 1 appearances this season.
In contrast, no West Ham player reached double figures in the league during the 2015-16 campaign, with nine-goal pair Andy Carroll and Dimitri Payet topping the charts in the competition.
Lacazette’s goals were expected to earn him a spot in France’s Euro 2016 squad but he was overlooked by manager Didier Deschamps despite Karim Benzema not being considered for selection.
Lacazette joined Lyon as a 12-year-old and was offered his first professional deal with the club in 2010 and six years on has become a key player.
West Ham have been active in the transfer market this summer as they comb the globe for potential new strikers, with offers supposedly made for Batshuayi, Benteke and Bournemouth’s Calum Wilson.
The size of their bid for Lacazette suggests he was their preferred target as they set their sights on handing Slaven Bilic a prolific forward for next season.
West Ham are ready to smash their club record transfer fee of £15.5million, which was spent to entice Andy Carroll from Liverpool in the summer of 2013.
In other West Ham transfer news, they are ready to trigger an £8million release clause to bring a winger to the Olympic Stadium.