David Moyes may have to deliver Champions League football to the London Stadium if West Ham United are to sign Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri this summer.
What’s the word?
According to 90min, Julen Lopetegui’s La Liga outfit are hopeful of retaining En-Nesyri with the offer of a new contract following the Hammers’ January pursuit.
It was alleged by The Athletic that the east London natives tabled a bid of €25m (£22.5m) plus €5m (£4.5m) in add-ons, while the Daily Star later claimed that an improved £25m rising to £32m offer was presented though Sevilla demanded at least £35m to cash-in.
Should West Ham pursue En-Nesyri this summer?
Yes, he’d be perfect
No, he isn’t good enough
Sevilla immediately knocked the Irons’ approach back and now intend to offer the 23-year-old a vastly improved deal, with terms that better match En-Nesyri’s newfound status as one of Europe’s most in-form strikers just a year on from his arrival.
The Moroccan has struck 13 goals in 23 La Liga appearances this season, only Luis Suarez (16), Lionel Messi (16) and Gerard Moreno (14) have fired home more often thus far. His record would also be enough to rank third in the Premier League and Ligue 1 Golden Boot races, as well as fifth in the Bundesliga and sixth in the Serie A.
Performing at such a level has sparked some of Europe’s top sides to pay close attention to his situation at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, with Borussia Dortmund monitoring developments in case either of Erling Haaland or Jadon Sancho leave the Westfalenstadion.
Inter Milan are also keen, while Premier League duo Liverpool and Manchester United are said to have asked to be kept informed to avoid potentially missing out on a top talent.
However, En-Nesyri is not desperate to leave Sevilla at this stage and is very happy playing for Lopetegui, despite being aware of the widespread interest in his services. His agent even claimed that a double-your-money offer would not see the striker change his mind.
Should West Ham revive their interest?
But, ultimately not signing a centre-forward to fill Haller’s void will make it necessary that Moyes and David Sullivan do pursue striker options at the end of the season, and would certainly appear to have their work cut out if En-Nesyri is the one coveted the most.
His record – and the sides lining the gossip columns beside his name – would suggest West Ham could sign a top striker in En-Nesyri, who has also hit four goals in the Champions League this season and helped Sevilla win the Europa League last term.
Moyes securing European football at West Ham may, therefore, prove crucial in any hopes of luring the forward to the London Stadium in the summer, even if the prospect of UEFA action seemed unthinkable at the start of the season.
The Hammers only secured their top-flight status by five points in the 2019/20 campaign, having lost 19 of their 38 Premier League fixtures – only the bottom three of Norwich City (27), AFC Bournemouth (22), Watford (20) plus Aston Villa (21) were beaten more often.
Yet the Irons currently sit fourth in the standings on merit, having lost just six times all season – only runaway leaders Manchester City (2) and nearest challengers Manchester United (4) have failed to claim at least one point on fewer occasions.
En-Nesyri’s other suitors and Sevilla will likely all be able to secure Champions League football for next season so, with the striker happy at his current side and money no factor, why would he accept a move to West Ham without the guarantee of UEFA action again?