Spanish press claim West Ham are battling Barcelona for Lucas Perez; is he worth a gamble?

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West Ham United have been linked with Deportivo La Coruna hitman Lucas Perez.

Picture Supplied by Action ImagesDeportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Perez

Spanish newspaper Sport last week claimed that West Ham United have joined Barcelona in the race to sign Deportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Perez, as reported by Sport Witness.

The Hammers have been in the market for a new striker all summer, but have so far hit a brick wall in their attempts to land a consistent goalscorer for the new Premier League season.

Now, with Sky Sports reporting that West Ham are waiting for an answer from AC Milan star Carlos Bacca, Slaven Bilic may be keen on some alternative options to the Colombian - and the Spanish press believe West Ham could move for one of La Liga's top strikers.

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Sport, as reported by Sport Witness last week, claimed that West Ham have now entered the race to sign Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna, with Barcelona stalling over a move for the player.

Perez, 27, ended last season with 17 goals and eight assists for Deportivo, establishing one of La Liga's top strikers in the process - and, unsurprisingly, attracting great interest.

As well as West Ham, it's believed that Villarreal, Napoli and Valencia are also keen on Perez, who would cost around €14m (£11.7m) - well within West Ham's budget.

West Ham manager Slaven BilicWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic

Perez may not be a household name to many Hammers fans, but he was certainly impressive last season. Perez was Deportivo's shining light last season, and showed many of the traits needed for a top striker; quick on and off the ball, impressive at linking up play, and of course clinical in front of goal.

Playing most of the season up front on his own, Perez could fit in well for West Ham, with Bilic no doubt impressed by his all-round skill-set in attack - but he doesn't come without question marks.

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The Spaniard had unspectacular spells with Rayo Vallecano, Karpaty Lviv, Dynamo Kiev and PAOK Salonika, before finally finding his home with Deportivo. To have so many disappointments to his name at 27, Hammers fans will wonder whether last season's 17-goal haul in Spain was a flash in the pan.

At £11.7m though, West Ham should at least consider Perez as a top alternative to Bacca, and whilst he's a gamble after just one successful season at this stage in his career, Perez showed enough last season to suggest that he may just be a late bloomer.

Would you like to see West Ham sign Lucas Perez?

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