Brighton and Hove Albion are closing in on a £7 million deal for Abdallah Sima despite Slavia Prague holding talks with Premier League pacesetters West Ham United, as reported by The Athletic.
It is seven months since Sebastien Haller packed up his stuff and swapped life on the London Stadium bench for a starring role at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
And West Ham still haven’t found a replacement.
With less than 24 hours to go until the transfer deadline passes, there’s a real chance David Moyes will have just one centre-forward at his disposal until January – the exceptional but injury-prone Michail Antonio.
Senegal international Sima is one of many exciting attackers linked with a move to the Hammers since the start of the summer, with Slavia coach Jindrich Trpisovsky confirming in May talks between the clubs were under way.
“We spoke with the leaders of West Ham,” Trpisovsky said of a man who fired Slavia Prague to the Czech league title and Europa League semi-finals with 20 goals and eight assists last season.
“(West Ham) told us they place (Sima) very high on the list of their potential reinforcements.’
Slavia president Jaroslav Tvrdik had claimed Sima, who has been labelled the ‘new Thierry Henry’, would cost £50 million.
Brighton set to beat West Ham for cut-price Sima
Why the Prague-based giants are willing to accept just £7 million now, with Brighton expected to seal a deadline-day swoop for the exciting attacker, is anyone’s guess.
It’s also uncertain why West Ham failed to press ahead with their initial interest.
“As far as I can see, I have to say I’m excited about him,” former Slavia Prague captain Tomas Soucek said midway through last term.
“I have to say the guys around West Ham know about him. I’d like another player from Slavia to come (to the London Stadium), but it’s still a long way off. He’s still a young player and has to prove (he is ready for a move).”