West Ham United are reportedly monitoring New York City FC striker Valentin Castellanos, who has earned a lot of praise from Pep Guardiola.

According to a report from the Daily Mail, West Ham United are closely tracking the progress of Argentine striker Valentin Castellanos, who is making big waves in the MLS with Manchester City’s sister club, New York City FC.

Castellanos began his footballing journey with Club Universidad de Chile before moving to Uruguayan outfit Club Atletico Torque in 2017, initially on loan before making the switch permanent a year later. Immediately after, the 23-year-old was picked up by New York City, again on a temporary deal, with the MLS outfit making his signing permanent in early 2019.

Since his move to the United States, Castellanos has made 109 appearances for the Pigeons, bagging a total of 42 goals and 18 assists. The Argentine forward enjoyed a particularly impressive season in 2021, as he produced a return of 23 goals and eight assists from 36 matches, helping his club to the MLS Cup triumph.

Yet to be capped by the Argentine national team, Castellanos has represented La Albiceleste at the Under-23 level six times so far. The striker has come in for huge praise from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, who has backed the 23-year-old to make it big in Europe. Now, West Ham United have emerged as a prospective suitor for the centre-forward.

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The Hammers are in the market for a new striker, given that David Moyes does not have any natural cover for his first-choice No. 9, Michail Antonio. With the club firmly in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League and making progress to the knockouts of the UEFA Europa League, adequate depth in all departments is a must.

So, a new centre-forward and a new centre-back have become necessary for the east London giants. A move for Adam Hlozek has been mooted for a while now, while other options such as Arthur Cabral and Mohamed Bayo are also being considered.

Now, Castellanos has also emerged as a target for West Ham. However, the report mentions that they are just monitoring his progress at the moment. Valued at £15 million, the 23-year-old is also a target for Besiktas, who already had a bid rejected for him, while he is also attracting interest from clubs in Spain.

It will be interesting to see if West Ham decide to make a swoop for the striker come January or look at someone else to bolster their centre-forward department ahead of the second half of the season.

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