West Ham United are considering a late move for Jonathan Bamba as hopes of signing Jesse Lingard are fading away.
According to The Express, West Ham United have switched their attention from Jesse Lingard to Lille star Jonathan Bamba with a late move on the cards. The French club rate the versatile attacker at £25 million, and the Hammers might be ready to pay the fee, although they face tough competition for the 25-year-old.
David Moyes had prioritised a move for Jesse Lingard when the previous season ended. The Manchester United star, during his six-month loan period, produced a stunning turnaround in form, scoring nine goals and providing five assists in his 16 league appearances for the Hammers.
His displays proved vital as West Ham finished in 6th place and securing Europa League football for the current season. Moyes had been keen to sign the England international on a permanent deal, but Lingard was waiting to find out if he featured in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans for the season, which he apparently does.
Solskjaer provided cryptic hints over Lingard’s future after the midfielder features prominently during the club’s pre-season games. At first, it was thought of as just a filling in gimmick, as many of United’s stars were yet to return from their holidays, but the manager’s latest comments suggest Lingard could feature in his plans.
As West Ham’s hopes of signing Lingard fade by the day, Moyes is inclined to bring in an alternative before the transfer window closes. Lille’s versatile attacker Jonathan Bamba seems like his target, as the Hammers are reportedly preparing to make a late offer to the French side.
Bamba had recorded similar statistics to Lingard, scoring six goals and providing 11 assists to help Lille secure the Ligue 1 title last term. While the French club would have loved to retain their stars in normal circumstances, the financial situation across French clubs has made them resigned to accepting reasonable offers for their stars.
Lille values Bamba at £25 million, and it is a price range the Hammers would be willing to pay for the 25-year-old. Moyes desperately seeks a viable option to play behind or in wide positions to support Michail Antonio.
The Hammers, however, could face tough competition for the attacker from the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Atalanta, as both clubs have registered their respective interest with Lille. West Ham could yet get the upper hand and tempt the player to sign up for a Premier League side.
If West Ham signs Bamba, he would not be the only player who could arrive late in the window. The club are also close to a move for Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma. Those players could make the Hammers’ squad strong for the current season.