Cologne are willing to sell West Ham target Ellyes Skhiri should the Premier League-linked midfielder push for a move before the end of August, managing director Alexander Werhle told Express.
At this stage, it is not quite certain whether West Ham are interested in Skhiri or whether it is Skhiri who is interested in West Ham.
The Tunisia international has been linked with a move to London on the back of an impressive 2020/21 campaign, standing head and shoulders above the rest in a Cologne side who only avoided relegation from the Bundesliga thanks to a play-off victory over Holstein Kiel in May.
BILD reported last week that Skhiri’s agent, the influential Fali Ramadani, had approached the Hammers about a potential £14 million deal that would see the 6ft 1ins player compete with Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek for a place in David Moyes’ engine room next term.
Whether West Ham will bite remains to be seen.
Considering that the likes of Morten Thorsby and Yangel Herrera have also been linked, it certainly seems that the Hammers are in the market for another midfield powerhouse who would add more height to an already sizeable squad.
Is Ellyes Skhiri heading to West Ham?
“If Ellyes comes to us and says that he wants to take the next step, and then a club is willing to pay his transfer fee, we are basically ready to talk,” Werhle said when asked about the future of a man who scored twice in a 2-1 win at Dortmund in November.
“But that does not mean that he will inevitably leave us. He has not yet approached us (to say he wants to leave).
“We have not yet had a specific offer. Of course, we do hear that clubs are interested in Ellyes.”
Skhiri is understood to have handed in a transfer request too, although it is far from certain that he will be the next out the door.