Guardian sport on 8 January 2021
West Ham will seek to strengthen their attack after selling Sébastien Haller to Ajax for £20m. The funds from Haller’s sale will be given to David Moyes to reinvest in his squad and the manager could revive his interest in Bournemouth’s Joshua King, whose contract expires at the end of the season.
Moyes targeted King in the previous transfer window but Bournemouth kept the striker following relegation, rejecting West Ham’s £13m bid. However the Norway international remains set on leaving and, with his deal running out, his price is likely to have decreased.
King’s unhappiness at Bournemouth is captured by his output this season: he has made only eight appearances in the Championship and is yet to score. However the 28-year-old demonstrated his quality with 48 goals in 169 appearances for Bournemouth in the Premier League and his experience appeals to Moyes, although the former Manchester United and Blackburn forward could opt to sign a lucrative pre-contract with a European club.
West Ham’s need for a striker is clear following the sale of Haller, who became their record signing at £45m from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019. Haller has been sold at a £25m loss, and his departure leaves Moyes with Michail Antonio as the only senior forward at his disposal. Antonio has a long history of hamstring injuries and has missed a significant portion of this season.
West Ham, who are set to sell Robert Snodgrass to West Brom, must decide whether paying a fee for King represents good business when he will be available for nothing in the summer. Other targets include Sparta Prague’s Adam Hlozek, Slavia Prague’s Abdallah Sima and the Reims forward Boulaye Dia. It is believed Reims are open to selling Dia, who has 10 goals in Ligue 1 this season.
There is an outside chance of West Ham trying to sign Olivier Giroud, who is unsettled at Chelsea, but it is unlikely that Frank Lampard would sanction the sale. It is also doubtful Giroud would fancy the move.
Moyes will hope that whoever arrives will offer more than Haller, who failed to live up to expectations. The Ivory Coast international scored 10 goals in 48 appearances before joining Ajax on a deal to 2025.
West Ham are weighing up whether to end Felipe Anderson’s unproductive spell at Porto but are yet to find a new loan club for the Brazilian winger, a £37m buy in 2018.