West Ham United have reportedly joined Barcelona in the race to sign Brazilian striker Arthur Cabral from Swiss giants FC Basel in the January window.
According to a report from Goal Brazil, Barcelona will have to make do with competition from Premier League club West Ham United in their pursuit of 23-year-old FC Basel centre-forward Arthur Cabral.
Having spent the early phases of his career in his homeland with clubs like Ceara and Palmeiras, Cabral moved to Europe in the summer of 2019, signing for FC Basel, initially on a loan deal, before the transfer was made permanent a year later. The Brazilian has thrived with the Swiss giants, racking up a tally of 62 goals and 17 assists from 100 appearances.
Cabral has been in red-hot form in the ongoing campaign, having already plundered 24 goals and eight assists from just 25 games in all competitions. His form was recently rewarded with a call-up to the Brazil national team, and now, the striker is attracting strong interest from one of the biggest clubs in the world in Barcelona.
The interest from the Catalan giants does make a world of sense, considering their sorry situation in the attacking unit. Luuk de Jong, who arrived in the summer, is deemed persona non-grata under new manager Xavi Hernandez while Sergio Aguero is unlikely to step out on the pitch anytime soon after being diagnosed with a heart problem.
Memphis Depay has been used as a No. 9 in the last couple of games, but the Dutchman lacks that bit of clinical edge that a natural goalscorer brings, as was evident in the previous couple of matches. So, it goes without saying that the Blaugrana need a new striker in January, with Cabral emerging as a viable option.
In fact, it has even been reported that Barcelona are willing to pay as much as €20 million for the Brazilian. However, they will now have to compete with Premier League high-fliers West Ham United in the race to land the 23-year-old striker. The Hammers are vying for a top-four spot in the English top-flight while advancing to the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League.
So, David Moyes & co. need to make sure that they have requisite depth across all areas of the pitch, something that is lacking in the No. 9 slot. Indeed, West Ham do not have any other natural striker in the ranks to cover for main man Michail Antonio and must address that if they are to sustain their top-four challenge and go deep in Europe, making Cabral a target worth considering.
The east London giants are believed to have met with Cabral’s Paulo Pitombeira and Luiz Portela and have learnt that an offer worth €15 million could get Basel to consider a sale. But with Barcelona also in the race, it remains to be seen who comes out on top in this enticing transfer battle.