West Ham are giving serious consideration to a move for the Montpellier striker Elye Wahi and are targeting Stuttgart’s Konstantinos Mavropanos and Bayer Leverkusen’s Odilon Kossounou in their hunt for a centre-back.
With Lucas Paquetá likely to join Manchester City, West Ham are looking to strengthen their attack. They have held talks over a deal for the Ajax winger Mohammed Kudus and have emerged as strong contenders in the race to sign Wahi, who is valued at €35m (£30m) by Montpellier.
The interest in Wahi has been driven by Tim Steidten, West Ham’s technical director. The club have held positive early talks with representatives of the player and Montpellier but face competition. The 20-year-old has caught the attention of Chelsea, Eintracht Frankfurt and Paris Saint-Germain. Frankfurt could move for Wahi if they lose Randal Kolo Muani to Paris Saint-Germain.
Yet the strongest interest is coming from West Ham, who could lower the price to about €30m if they agree to include a sell-on clause. They are keen to sign a striker after selling Gianluca Scamacca to Atalanta and it would represent a significant coup if they signed Wahi.
The forward, who is keen to move to the Premier League, scored 19 goals in 33 League 1 appearances last season and is regarded as one of the best young prospects in Europe.
Strong, quick and powerful, Wahi is at his best using his pace to get behind defences. He is also capable of playing in a wide role and it is felt he has the characteristics to succeed West Ham’s first-choice striker, Michail Antonio, whose physicality makes him suited to David Moyes’s counterattacking system.
West Ham have sold Declan Rice to Arsenal for £105n and will have further funds if they sell Paquetá to City, who are thought to be lining up a new bid. Paqueta, whose contract contains an £85m release clause that becomes active next summer, wants to leave but City’s opening offer of £70m was deemed too low.
West Ham know they are likely to lose Paquetá and are trying to be proactive. Their interest in the City winger Cole Palmer has dimmed but they are hopeful of adding more creativity by signing Kudus, who has been a target for Arsenal, Brighton and Chelsea. City are likely to beat West Ham to the signing of the Rennes winger Jérémy Doku.
Moyes, who has replaced Rice by bolstering his midfield with Edson Álvarez and James Ward-Prowse, also wants a centre-back. West Ham pulled out of a deal to sign Harry Maguire from Manchester United this week and are exploring other targets.
They have held talks with Stuttgart over Mavropanos, a Greece international who spent four years with Arsenal, much of it out on loan, but sources have not ruled out a move for Kossounou. West Ham have not advanced their interest in Kossounou’s Leverkusen teammate Jonathan Tah.
West Ham will also look for a left-back if Aaron Cresswell departs. They are interested in Chelsea’s Ian Maatsen.