Report: West Ham face heavy competition for Atletico Madrid striker Raul Jimenez

West Ham United have been linked with Atletico Madrid’s Raul Jimenez.

According to AS, La Liga duo Real Betis and Villarreal have joined West Ham United, Benfica and Porto in the race to sign Atletico Madrid star Raul Jimenez on loan.

In a previous report by HITC, it was revealed that the Hammers are eyeing the Mexican international on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal.

Jimenez struggled for game time during the previous campaign after joining Los Colchoneros from Club America last summer, making just a handful of La Liga appearances

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is said to be a big fan of the 24-year-old yet the Croatian manager faces a tough task in his bid to seal a deal ahead of heavy competition.

“The Mexican striker could strengthen Slaven Bilic’s side on a loan deal, although a permanent transfer has not been ruled out. Porto and Benfica are also keen on the player, while in Spain both Betis and Villarreal have asked Atleti about a loan move,” the report states.

What would Jimenez offer West Ham?

Jimenez isn’t particularly blessed with pace but his movement, first touch and awareness are his standout attributes and are exactly what prompted Atletico Madrid to sign him last year.

If Bilic is intent on playing one up top, Jimenez is ideal and features well alongside quicker, mobile attacking midfielders who can break beyond him an anticipate flick-ons and through balls.

Competition for his signature:

The Premier League’s physicality, however, may not interest Jimenez as much, as previous Mexicans such as Giovani dos Santos and Pablo Berrera, formerly of West Ham, notoriously struggled to adapt.

Spain and Portugal are less demanding in terms of strength and fitness, factors which could see the talented striker instead opt to further his career situated on the Iberian Peninsula.

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