After Alexandre Lacazette attempted to use the Hammers as a bargaining tool, demanding higher wages than had already been offered by Arsenal, the Daily Mail claim that attentions now turn to Swansea striker Andre Ayew. Having already had a £16 million approach turned down, the Mail claim that Slaven Bilic and West Ham bosses are preparing a bid of £20 million to test the Swans.
Having scored 12 goals in his debut Premier League season, for a struggling Swansea side, the Ghanian could be exactly what the Irons are looking for. Whilst he may lack the star factor that Lacazette may have, he has proven that he has the quality. A deal for the 26 year old may have to include Enner Valencia though, with the Welsh side reluctant to allow to Ayew to leave, particularly so close to the start of the season.
One of the more high profile alternatives to have been linked with a move to the Olympic Stadium this weekend has been Real Madrid striker Jese Rodriguez. Linked with Liverpool and PSG, Squawka claim that the London club have prepared a £15 million offer including add-ones for the Spaniard, but Madrid are demanding an offer closer to £17 million with a buy back clause.
In reality, it is hard to see Jese heading to London to wear the claret and blue of the Hammers. He is likely to demand Champions League football, and will prefer any of these options which can offer it, and judging by reports over the past few days, there is certainly no shortage of interest in the 23 year old.
The other top priority for Slaven Bilic is to find a short term replacement for Aaron Cresswell, with Hull’s Andrew Robertson a target. The Mail say that the Tigers have rejected a £7 million bid from the London club and are demanding a fee of at least £15 million to part with the 22 year old Scotland international, who was pivotal in their promotion last season.
At £15 million, Robertson may well become too pricey an option for an unplanned for transfer which was not needed when budgets were decided at the start of the summer. With cheaper options on the market, Robertson offered a more exciting option with potential for long term development, but finances may restrict the ability to make such a signing.
They may have found the perfect mix between the two though, with the Mirror claiming that the hunt is nearly over with a deal close to completion for Ludwig Augustinsson. The 22 year old Sweden international is said to be close to signing for a fee of £5 million from FC Copenhagen.
With four caps to his name, and Europa League and Champions League experience at such a young age, Augustinsson could be a diamond in the rough for Bilic. If reports are accurate and a deal could be completed, Augustinsson could provide suitable cover and would compete with Aaron Cresswell upon his return from injury, and there will be few players with such experience at such a young age.
The only concern will be that, other than twelve European appearances and four caps, the Swede has never played outside of Scandinavia, where football lacks the intensity of the Premier League. Such a move may be a gamble, but it could certainly pay off.
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