West Ham will still be monitoring January targets Darwin Nunez and Duvan Zapata as they look to bring in a centre-forward in the summer, according to transfer insider Pete O’Rourke.
The Lowdown: January bids
Hammers fans endured a disappointing wineter transfer window after the east London club failed to sign a single player in January. This was exacerbated by their need for an attacker, with Michail Antonio being the only senior striker at David Moyes’ disposal.
As reported by The Evening Standard, the Irons had a club-record £60m bid rejected by Benfica for Nunez. It was claimed that the 22-year-old was waiting on a move to a Champions League club, thus making it difficult to entice him to the London Stadium.
After their failed Nunez bid, West Ham made a last-ditch attempt to sign Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata on deadline day. It was reported that the Hammers submitted a deal sheet to the Premier League, but they failed to get the loan move over the line before the transfer window shut.
The Latest: O’Rourke’s update
Despite their unsuccessful transfer attempts in January, O’Rourke has claimed that West Ham will still be monitoring the pair ahead of the summer window.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, he said: “They tried to sign both players in the January transfer window but just ran out of time to try and get those deals done and were maybe priced out of it by the respective two clubs of Benfica and Atalanta.
“So, I’m sure they still remain on West Ham’s radar, and they’ll be continuing to keep tabs on them.”
The Verdict: A striker is essential
Whilst Antonio has been in fine form at certain points this season, having scored four goals in the Hammers’ opening three Premier League games, he has also seemed fatigued, which is understandable due to his lack of rotation.
As a result, the 31-year-old has been unable to find the net in his last eight league games. This has not come at a good time for the Irons, as a top-four finish is slowly slipping from Moyes’ grasp, with a lack of goals partially to blame for their recent drop-off.
Therefore, it is essential that GSB secure at least one striker in the summer; if they can get either (or even both) of Zapata or Nunez in at the London Stadium, it should greatly reduce the over-reliance on Antonio to score consistently.
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