West Ham have finally received the long awaited answer from their top striker target Carlos Bacca, and it isn’t the one they were hoping for. Calcio Mercato claim that the Colombian failed to agree personal terms with the club, partly because he wants Champions League football and would demand higher wages if he is made to compromise.
It is a major blow for the Hammers, who had been in negotiations with AC Milan and the player for weeks, and they will now have to shift their attentions to other targets. There is no shortage of other players, but Bacca seemed to be the most prolific of all the options.
One of those targets was said to be Toulouse striker Wissam Ben Yeder, but the Essex Chronicle now claim that Arsene Wenger is set to steal the Frenchman away from Slaven Bilic in an £8 million move. The 25 year old was said to be close to a move to the Olympic Stadium, but a late Arsenal bid has changed that.
Having scored 17 goals last season for a side fighting relegation, he would have been an excellent, and cheap, addition to the Hammers forward line. Now, he seems set to choose the Gunners instead of their east London rivals as he wants to play Champions League football now that he has the chance to. It is yet another setback for West Ham as they continue their striker search.
The latest name to be linked is Juventus’ Croatian star Mario Mandzukic, and the Express are now reporting that the experienced forward could be available for as little as £12 million. The ex-Atletico man would still demand some hefty wages, but is increasingly looking like the only option available with the star factor that Slaven Bilic demanded.
Mandzukic saw his form struggle at times in Turin, but strong and powerful, he would most likely excel in the Premier League, particularly with the wide options that are available to Slaven Bilic to provide service to the forward.
Another player in a similar mould to have been linked is Christian Benteke. The Croydon Advertiser claims that Liverpool have informed Crystal Palace and the Hammers that it will take a bid of £33 million to sign the Belgian, despite them being desperate to sell him before the deadline next month.
Benteke would fit the model, and Sullivan and Gold seem to be happy to provide sufficient funds to make the move, but they are often reluctant to buy players from Liverpool owing to their hefty price tags and large wage demands. Whether this will be an impediment or not to a potential move is yet to be seen, but with a proven track record, Crystal Palace are unlikely to delay in making a deal.
The Irons had also better move quickly if they wish to complete a move for Mario Gomez, with the German interesting Inter Milan as they look for a replacement for Mauro Icardi, say the Essex Chronicle. The striker was prolific last season at Besiktas, but at 30 it remains to be seen if he can replicate that form in the Premier League.
Many of Europe’s top clubs are chasing Gomez, and once again it seems that the Hammers hunt for a striker is going to keep on getting more and more complicated the nearer the deadline creeps.
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