West Ham: Striker set for exit; Italian linked with Chelsea; 28-year-old defender wanted
West Ham could see a few departures today, one being Enner Valencia, who is a target for Swansea City. Wales Online report that the Ecuadorian forward is in talks with Swansea over a move. A £12 million permanent move or a loan deal are both possible. The interest is concrete and it is expected to develop in the coming hours.
This could directly lead to West Ham trying to pursue a replacement, with Wilfried Bony being linked again, but the Ivorian is currently at Stoke’s training ground, therefore other targets will need to be identified.
The possibility of moving Valencia out, either permanently or on loan will appeal to West Ham as he is a player that has never fully suited Slaven Bilic’s system. The signing of Simone Zaza shows that Bilic wants somebody with more presence up front and with Andy Carroll also at the club, the opportunity to play was decreasing for Valencia.
He is capable of playing on the wings, but West Ham are now well stocked in these areas. A move to Swansea will benefit all parties as he will no longer be on the wage bill and he will be able to get regular first team football.
Another possible departure is Angelo Ogbonna according to the Daily Express, with Chelsea keen on the defender. Antonio Conte worked with him at Juventus and Italy, which makes the story plausible. Chelsea are looking for defensive reinforcements and Ogbonna is a player that will fit into what Conte is trying to build.
West Ham will expect a huge fee considering it is the final day of the transfer window and Ogbonna is an important player in their first team. He had an impressive debut season in the Premier League and would be a huge loss for West Ham.
Although they will want to keep him at the club, it could prove difficult if Chelsea’s interest heats up during the day. The move will appeal to Ogbonna as it will provide the opportunity of joining a club with title aspirations. Also his relationship with Conte could also play a part.
On deadline day, the selling clubs have all the leverage and West Ham know this all too well. It will be a difficult deal for Chelsea to do and the most likely outcome is that he will remain with the Hammers.
It is looking likely that there will be at least one signing for West Ham on deadline day as Micah Richards is closing in on a loan move according to ESPN. He has found himself out of favour at Aston Villa after the club’s disastrous relegation campaign.
The Midlands club wants to slash their wage bill today and moving Richards on will help to do that. West Ham need cover for the right back position, which is why a move for Richards appeals, as he can fill in here or at centre-half as he did last term. Richards is an experienced option and carries relatively little risk.
He was once considered as the best right-back in the country before injuries and poor form took their toll on his career. Spells at Fiorentina and Aston Villa haven’t helped him repair his reputation, but a move to West Ham will be welcomed by the versatile defender.
It is a settled environment and West Ham have a good squad capable of challenging in the top half of the league. At Aston Villa, Richards struggled for consistency, but he wasn’t helped by the poisonous atmosphere at the club. Despite his spell at Aston Villa, Richards remains a solid Premier League defender and is a great option to provide cover for West Ham. It is a shrewd move by the club.
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