Friday, 6 May 2016



By Harry Sherlock

The Hammers are keen to recruit a striker in
the summer and have identified the 22-year-
old Belgium international, who has netted 21
times so far this term, as a key target
West Ham are in negotiations with Marseille
over a potential club-record €40 million deal
for striker Michy Batshuayi ,
Goal understands.
The 22-year-old has scored 21 goals in all
competitions so far this season and has
subsequently been identified as a possible
recruit by the Hammers, who are keen to add
more firepower to their squad.
Sources close to the club have confirmed
that West Ham's priority this summer is to
sign a marquee striker - along with back-up
for Sam Byram at right-back - and a
comprehensive shortlist has been drawn up.
Batshuayi is likely to be an expensive signing
- with Marseille keen to receive a transfer fee
higher than the £24m they acquired from
Chelsea for Didier Drogba - but West Ham's
owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, have
shown a willingness to back Slaven Bilic in
the transfer market in the past and look set
to do so again.
West Ham are understood to be in talks over
Batshuayi with the French club and any deal
would break their record transfer fee, which
currently stands at the £15m the club paid
Liverpool to sign Andy Carroll.

The Irons, however, will face competition for
the forward, with Tottenham and Liverpool
also reportedly monitoring developments.
Goal understands that West Ham have also
made overtures to Lyon regarding the
potential signing of Alexandre Lacazette , with
the Hammers casting their net far and wide
as they bid to sign a recognised forward.
Moves for the likes of Liverpool's Christian
Benteke and Argentine striker Gustavo Bou
have also been mooted, with the club keen to
profit from a position of strength this
West Ham are set to move into the Olympic
Stadium this summer and see a 20-goal-per-
season striker as the perfect acquisition after
a season of surprise overachievement.
Bilic has guided his side to sixth in the
Premier League and they retain hope of
sneaking into the Champions League places
in their final three fixtures of the season, as
they sit just five points behind fourth-placed
Manchester City with a game in hand.