West Ham: Rekindled Benteke interest; Odegaard decision made; Italian bid for midfielder
The Hammers are set to reignite their interest in Liverpool’s Christian Benteke as they plan a last minute swoop to sign the Belgian amid interest from Crystal Palace, claim the Daily Mail. Palace had been expected to use the money from the sale of Yannick Bolasie to Everton to sign the former Villa forward, but West Ham are now preparing a move which they are convinced will be more tempting for the 25-year-old.
Liverpool’s number nine has been frozen out at Anfield by Jurgen Klopp and did not feature in any pre-season friendlies or the Reds’ opener against Arsenal on Sunday. The Irons were reportedly reluctant to make a move for Benteke as they believe that the asking price and wage demands are too high, but having missed out on the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Michy Batshuayi and Carlos Bacca, they are now revisiting their previous target as they seek a prolific goalscorer to play alongside Andre Ayew.
However, both Liverpool and the Irons look set to miss out on a loan move for Real Madrid sensation Martin Odegaard. AS report that whilst a move to England or Germany was his preference, manager Zinedine Zidane has made the decision for the 17-year-old that he will head to Ligue 1 side Rennes, where Zidane spent part of his course for coaching badges in 2014 and was impressed by the training facilities.
It is a blow for the Hammers, who saw Odegaard as a perfect option to add depth to their squad and provide cover for the likes of Manuel Lanzini while he recovers from a knee injury and Dimitri Payet while he returns to full fitness after a prolonged summer break post-Euro 2016. That said, the area is not top of the list of priorities for Slaven Bilic and attentions can now instead be focused on the hunt for another striker.
Calciomercato are reporting that West Ham have rejected an offer for central midfielder Pedro Obiang after Fiorentina enquired into his availability. Obiang started just 16 games last season and is said to have struggled to adapt to life in London and is keen to return to Italy, where he previously played for Sampdoria. Reports claim that the Irons will allow the Spaniard to leave, but not for less than the £5 million fee that they paid for him just last summer.
Fiorentina are unlikely to be able to afford such a fee due to their current financial status and West Ham are in no rush to sell the midfielder as they may be forced into the market for a replacement if he is sold. An unused sub last night in defeat to Chelsea, Obiang is keen on the move, although some tough negotiations will be required if there is to be any form of permanent deal agreed this summer. A loan move may be more likely, but again, there is little incentive for the Hammers to dispense with the 24-year-old.
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