Sebastien Haller is set to reject the chance to join West Ham United this summer, according to a report by Bild (subscription required).
Italian journalist Nicolo Schira claimed on Twitter on Wednesday that the Hammers had agreed to a €40million (£36m) deal for the forward and he was expected to sign a five-year contract.
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) July 10, 2019
However, Bild have since reported that the Eintracht Frankfurt star has no intention of joining West Ham this summer and would only accept a move to join a club in the Champions League.
“First of all, an observer finds the connection between an Italian journalist and a French player who is supposed to be moving from Germany to England strange,” they claim, albeit with some translation issues.
“However, now reports the “image” that there has actually been an offer of this magnitude of West Ham.
“But Haller apparently wants to reject this offer, which means that in this case Nicolo Schira allegedly leaned too far out of the window. Haller would only worry about a change when a club asks, who plays in the Champions League.”
It will be interesting to see which media outlet have the right outlook on this story. Schira is a reputable journalist and it would seem highly unlikely for him to publish details of a deal that is not actually happening.
However, Bild would presumably be closer to things as they are closer to Frankfurt, and they seem to rubbish the idea of any transfer, whilst also taking the time to discredit the Italian journalist at the same time.
Should Haller have rejected a move to West Ham, it will have to be considered as a blow to Manuel Pellegrini and his pursuit of bringing in a big-name striker to the London Stadium.
The 25-year-old was in lethal form for Frankfurt last season, recording 20 goals and 12 assists in 41 appearances in all competitions for the Bundesliga outfit (Transfermarkt) and would subsequently be an upgrade on the departed Marko Arnautovic based on last season’s figures.
According to WhoScored (when looking at their performances in top-flight football), the French forward outnumbered the former Hammer in goals (15 to 10), assists (12 to 4), aerial duels (6.9 to 0.9) and his average rating (7.55 to 6.84). The Austrian managed more shots per goal (1.9 to 2.2), however, Haller’s figures certainly make him appear to be a lot more clinical with his finishing ability.
Haller also has the physical presence that makes him look tailormade for Premier League football, as he stands at 6ft 3in tall and is strong when it comes to his aerial game (WhoScored).
West Ham fans, what do you make of the conflicting reports? Do you think Haller will be the man to spearhead the attack? Let us know in the comments section below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!