West Ham United have been linked with Algeria striker Islam Slimani for some time now, with reports last month claiming the Hammers wanted a permanent deal for a player they had previously considered bringing in on loan.
In the last 24 hours, it has been suggested that Slimani’s current club Sporting Lisbon want £10million for the player. And while it remains to be seen whether Sam Allardyce will see value in that move, reports from Portugal claim Slimani is attracting plenty of interest…and fast.
Newspaper O Jogo reports that the 26-year-old is interesting not just West Ham, Stoke City and Newcastle United as previously suggested. He is also said to be on the radar of Leicester City, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen, Marseille, Villarreal and Trabzonspor.
That is quite a list, and while it is mere speculation at this stage, it appears the Hammers have plenty of competition for a player who has really come to prominence in the last few weeks.
The problem with World Cup campaigns is they often inflate both prices and reputations. The question for West Ham – and for any interested party for that matter – is whether Slimani represents value for money.
A lack of Premier League experience could certainly work against him. But his two World Cup goals, along with his 10 for Sporting last season, suggest he may just be worth a gamble for a side in desperate need of more firepower.