West Ham have stepped up their interest in the Paris Saint-Germain striker Hugo Ekitike and are holding further discussions with Corinthians over a deal for Yuri Alberto.
David Moyes is looking to bolster his attack before the transfer window shuts on Friday and West Ham, who have opened talks with PSG over Ekitike, have been tracking several strikers. Tim Steidten, the club’s technical director, has travelled to Brazil in an attempt to agree a fee for Alberto but alternative options are being explored in case the deal for the 22-year-old Brazilian falls through.
Ekitike was of interest to West Ham in January 2022 but the French striker ended up joining PSG from Reims later that year. The 21-year-old has struggled to make an impact at the Parc des Princes and PSG want to sell him. The French champions have offered him to Eintracht Frankfurt as part of a deal for their top attacking target, Randal Kolo Muani, but Ekitike appears uninterested in being used as a makeweight.
That has opened the door for West Ham to make their move as they look to bring in extra cover for Michail Antonio, who has started the season with two goals in three appearances. Antonio excelled in West Ham’s wins against Brighton and Chelsea but the 33-year-old has a history of fitness problems and has been targeted by the Saudi Pro League this summer.
Moyes needs more in attack after allowing Gianluca Scamacca to join Atalanta earlier this month. Divin Mubama, a promising academy prospect, is inexperienced and Danny Ings has struggled to make an impact since joining West Ham from Aston Villa in January. Ings could leave if West Ham sign a new forward, with Everton hopeful of loaning the former Burnley striker.
West Ham are unlikely to sign both Alberto and Ekitike. Mohammed Kudus, the versatile Ghana winger, could be used as a forward following his arrival from Ajax, and West Ham would not have the funds to buy two new strikers. Talks with PSG have centred around a loan and a permanent deal for Ekitike, who could cost about £30m.
Alberto has been on West Ham’s radar for a while and is believed to be interested in moving to east London. He had a fleeting taste of European football when he joined Zenit St Petersburg from Nacional in 2021 and scored four times for the Russian side before returning to Brazil last year.
It will not be an easy deal for Steidten to pull off. Various intermediaries are involved in the deal and West Ham do not want to overpay for a player who could struggle to adjust to the Premier League. Corinthians are asking for a lot for Alberto, who has been capped by Brazil, and the player’s wage demands could make a permanent deal too expensive. West Ham would be prepared to agree a loan with an option to buy but Steidten is also looking at Flamengo’s Pedro and the Santos striker Marcos Leonardo.
Steidten is understood to have reservations about a move for the Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri, while Moyes is an admirer of Chelsea’s Armando Broja. West Ham are also increasingly likely to offer Jesse Lingard a short-term deal after allowing the attacking midfielder to train with them. Lingard is a free agent after leaving Nottingham Forest.
West Ham have been busy since selling Declan Rice to Arsenal for £105m. They have bolstered their defence by signing Konstantinos Mavropanos from Stuttgart and strengthened in midfield with Edson Álvarez and James Ward-Prowse. Kudus was a target for Arsenal, Chelsea and Brighton.
There could be a handful of departures this week. The full-backs Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson could leave and Pablo Fornals has interest from an unnamed club in Saudi Arabia.