West Ham have made a £6.5 million bid to sign Lyon attacker Rachid Ghezzal, according to L’Equipe.
The Hammers have revamped their forward line ahead of their first campaign at the Olympic Stadium, Andre Ayew’s club-record £20.5 million arrival from Swansea yesterday supplementing an attack already boosted by the signings of Sofiane Feghouli (below), Gokhan Tore and Ashley Fletcher.
However, Slaven Bilic’s side appear ready to dip into the market once more to sign the Algerian international, who enjoyed a breakthrough in Ligue 1 last season with eight goals and assists apiece.
Ghezzal, a quick-footed, versatile attacker who can play anywhere across the forward line, has just one year left on his deal at Lyon, who may want to cash in on the 24-year-old rather than lose him for free next summer.
Though Lyon are reluctant to let Ghezzal leave, with more talks planned with week between player and club, Les Gones may be willing to accept West Ham’s offer in order to strengthen their stance over Alexandre Lacazette (below).
The star forward was the subject of a £29 million bid from Arsenal earlier in the window, but club president Jean Michel Aulas has repeatedly claimed that the club would not accept anything below his 50 million euro asking price.
Aulas has a reputation for driving a hard bargain in the transfer market, having forced Tottenham to pay £10 million for erratic forward Clinton N’Jie last summer and refusing to allow midfielder Corentin Tolisso to join Napoli despite receiving an offer in excess of £30 million, according to Football Italia.
Michael Essien (below, right), meanwhile, became the most expensive African footballer in history when he signed for Chelsea to the tune of £24.4 million in 2005.
However, Aulas may admit defeat in West Ham’s pursuit of Ghezzal in order to boost their finances and therefore hold on to the want-away Lacazette in the final three weeks of the window.
Furthermore, Lyon will understandably not want to lose both of their top two scorers last season in the same window as they aim to progress domestically and in Europe next season.