West Ham United were staring in the face of a potentially season-defining exit for the best part of two weeks, but recent reports regarding Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic’s decision to sign a new contract in east London suggest that it’s the Mexican and not the Austrian who is likely to leave this month.
Indeed, according to a recent report from Sky Sports, Valencia manager Marcelino has confirmed that Hernandez is willing to join his side this month due to a lack of game time at West Ham.
Hernandez has never quite managed to maintain a consistent run of form since arriving from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017, and with reported interest in Maxi Gomez beginning to intensify it’s no surprise that he’s considering his options elsewhere.
However, with Hernandez’s departure potentially in the offing, Lucas Perez also reportedly hoping to clinch a return to La Liga with Real Betis and Andy Carroll proving to be consistently injury-prone, Manuel Pellegrini should be turning his attention towards a short-term loan deal for Olivier Giroud.
According to French media outlet Canal (via Sky Sports), Giroud claimed that the arrival of Gonzalo Higuain would darken his future at Chelsea, and now the Argentine has moved to Stamford Bridge it seems inevitable that he will be looking to force through a transfer in the final days of the window.
The same report also claims that his personal preference is to remain in the Premier League.
One way or another it seems that West Ham have plenty to ponder over in the final days of the window, with Perez and Hernandez both threatening to move to La Liga.
But Pellegrini cannot afford to allow both players to leave the London Stadium without sourcing a replacement, and with Gomez likely to return to Celta Vigo on loan until the end of the season following a January deal there is no question a recruit is needed before Thursday’s deadline.
At this late stage in the window, Pellegrini’s options are likely to be limited, but Giroud’s recent comments hint that he should be open to the possibility of moving across London.
The World Cup winner is one of the most clinical strikers in the division inside the penalty area, and his physical style of play and natural ability to link-up with his creative teammates would offer a similar presence to Arnautovic in attack.
A potential caveat to the deal would be Arnautovic’s presence as the club’s talisman at centre-forward, but his ability to operate in a multitude of roles should ensure plenty of opportunities for Giroud in the same starting eleven as the Austria international.
With bags of Premier League experience under his belt, a proven record in-front of goal and a clear desire to leave Chelsea, West Ham should make a bid to sign Giroud on loan this month in the event of Hernandez’s departure.
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