West Ham United are reportedly eyeing a shock swoop for Aston Villa forward Anwar El Ghazi this month.

According to a recent report from Football Insider, West Ham United have expressed interest in Anwar El Ghazi. The Londoners are in the market for a new attacker in January, and it appears David Moyes has identified the Aston Villa star as an ideal candidate.

Aston Villa are open to selling El Ghazi in January as new coach Steven Gerrard looks to offload some of the team’s wide attackers to fund moves for newer targets such as Aaron Hickey. The player himself might be keen on putting an end to his spell at Villa Park after falling behind the likes of Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and Ashley Young in the pecking order.

Indeed, the former Ajax starlet has found it difficult to break into this Villa team. He has played in only nine league matches this term, just four of which were starts. His tally of one goal and one assist has not done him any favours either, with the attacker featuring in only 33 minutes of league action since Gerrard took charge.

El Ghazi’s struggles have not deterred West Ham, though, with David Moyes being firmly keen that the Dutchman has what it takes to help his team during the second half of the campaign. The former Manchester United boss is primarily looking for an alternative for star striker Michail Antonio, someone who can operate in the number nine slot and even in wider positions, if necessary.

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The Aston Villa forward fits the bill perfectly for West Ham, as he can operate on both flanks and, indeed, as a false nine. With 118 competitive appearances for the Villans, the 26-year-old also offers considerable experience in English football.

However, it remains to be seen how much Aston Villa charge for El Ghazi since West Ham might not be comfortable spending over the top this month. Anything above the €20 million mark might prove to be a bit too expensive for the Hammers, especially given the fact that the club also needs to sign a new defender in January, having tailed players like Tosin Adarabioyo.

Fortunately for Moyes, he has no shortage of alternatives, with West Ham also being linked with a move for the rising star of US Soccer in Daryl Dike. The young forward made an impression in the Championship last term and will welcome the opportunity of showcasing his talents in the Premier League.

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