West Ham ready for transfer battle to sign Odilon Kossounou
West Ham United are ready to fight it out to sign Bayer Leverkusen defender Odilon Kossounou, according to a report.
The Lowdown: West Ham eyeing defender
West Ham manager David Moyes has set his sights on a new defender this summer, with AS Roma’s Chris Smalling recently being linked with a move to the London Stadium.
Angelo Ogbonna has recently admitted that he wants to extend his stay with the Irons beyond the end of the season, when his current deal expires, however no talks have yet been held, meaning a couple of new centre-back additions could be required.
The Latest: Kossounou targeted
According to a report from The Sun, the Hammers are ready to fight it out for Koussounou, who could be available for a summer move, given that he has expressed his desire to leave Leverkusen.
The report claims that Moyes failed in a bid to loan the defender in the January transfer window, but he still remains interested, with the Bundesliga club looking to receive £25m if they are going to sanction his departure.
That price appears to be too high for the Irons, however, and they could instead look to strike a loan-to-buy agreement.
The Verdict: Get it done?
There is some evidence that the 6 foot 3 colossus would be an upgrade on some of West Ham’s current options at centre-back, averaging more interceptions and aerials won per 90 than both Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma over the course of the past year.
The Ivorian has been lauded as having a ‘crazy amount of talent’ by football scout Jacek Kulig, but he has struggled to cement his place in the Leverkusen team this season, often featuring off the bench rather than as a starter.
That said, Kossounou is still only 22-years-old, meaning he has plenty of time to develop, and a move could be exactly what he needs to reignite his career, considering he wants to leave Leverkusen. As such, West Ham should definitely pursue a deal in the summer transfer window.