West Ham are interested in signing Hellas Verona pair Giovanni Simeone and Antonin Barak, in a deal that could be worth up to around €40million (£33.7m).
The Lowdown: West Ham flying
The Hammers are in one of their richest veins of forms in years currently, jumping to third place in the Premier League after their memorable 3-2 win at home to Liverpool.
David Moyes’ side genuinely look like one of the best teams in the division and there is no reason why they can’t keep battling for a top-four finish this season.
While West Ham have an enviable squad these days, that’s not to say new signings aren’t also key, with depth behind star striker Michail Antonio surely the primary area of concern come January.
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The Latest: Hammers linked with Hellas Verona pair
Twenty-six-year-old Simeone has scored nine goals in just 10 appearances for the Serie A club, also scoring once in five caps for Argentina. Meanwhile, Barak is a 27-cap Czech Republic international who plays in attacking midfield.
It is stated that it would cost West Ham at least €40million (£33.7m) to snap up the duo, although Verona have a €12million (£10.1m) option to sign Simeone from Cagliari, with the striker only on loan at the moment.
The Verdict: Good squad depth
Not a huge amount may be known about Simeone and Barak but they both have international experience and could add attacking depth to the Hammers’ squad.
As the season goes on, there is always the threat that injuries could mount and it is vital that Moyes has options galore in the Champions League battle, especially with Europa League football set to continue into the knock-out stages.
Assuming the deal potentially gets done in January, it would give West Ham an extra boost at a time when the matches come thick and fast – Simeone in particular could be a vital addition given Antonio’s past injury woes, with Genoa Coach Ivan Juric praising his work rate as a youngster during his time at the club.
No player in Europe’s elite leagues has out-performed their expected goals more than Simeone (+6.2), showing how clinical he is – Ballon d’Or candidates Karim Benzema and Mohamed Salah sit second and third in that statistic.
In other news, a pundit has shut down a West Ham transfer rumour. Read more here.
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