West Ham have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, according to reports.
The Hammers are in the market for a new striker after selling Sebastien Haller to Ajax in January.
They initially targeted Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri but were rebuffed by the Spanish side. That’s led them to London rivals Arsenal.
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According to Evening Standard, Folarin Balogun’s new Arsenal contract could give West Ham the green light to sign teammate Nketiah.
Balogun is on the verge of a new deal, with boss Mikel Arteta revealing earlier this week that an agreement is ‘very close’.
Tying down Balogun to fresh terms will see the Gunners focus their attention away from Nketiah for the future.
They’re open to selling the 21-year-old forward in order to raise transfer funds for the summer.
West Ham have long been interested in Nketiah and may finally bid for him in the next few months.
They want the Englishman to provide cover for talisman Michail Antonio, who has long-standing injury problems.
It’s not yet clear how much it would cost to sign Nketiah, but he would be far cheaper than En-Nesyri.
West Ham submitted an official £22.5million bid for the player in January, but Sevilla held out for £35million.
Nketiah isn’t valued as highly at Arsenal, making it a potentially shrewd piece of business for David Moyes.
West Ham coaches would have to get the player back to full confidence if he moved to the London Stadium.
Although his talent is obvious, Nketiah has scored just once in the Premier League this season. That goal actually came against the Hammers towards the start of the campaign.
The forward has enjoyed slightly more success in the Europa League. He’s been on target three times in six matches, most recently in the 4-2 group stage win over Dundalk.
Nketiah isn’t the only Arsenal player that looks set to leave this summer. Lucas Torreira is urging the club to let him join Boca Juniors, while David Luiz is ‘unlikely’ to be offered a contract extension.
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