West Ham United have identified Toulouse FC forward Rhys Healey as a fallback option should they fail in their pursuit of Hugo Ekitike.

According to Sky Sports, Rhys Healey has emerged as a target for West Ham in these remaining days of the winter transfer window. The young forward currently plies his trade with Toulouse FC. He has been identified as an ideal alternative for the club’s top target, Hugo Ekitike, with David Moyes increasingly keen on signing a new centre-forward.

West Ham have tried their luck with Ekitike multiple times this month, even reportedly tabling a €25 million offer. However, his parent club Reims have no intention to do business with the Premier League outfit this month and are holding out for a summer sale. It has prompted West Ham to set their sights on other alternatives, including Rhys Healey.

A native of Manchester, Healey has played for clubs like Cardiff City, MK Dons and Newport County in the past, before moving to Toulouse FC in 2020 for a fee of just €500k. It was nothing less than a bargain as the player joined the French side off the back of an excellent season in League One that saw him score 11 goals in 19 matches for MK Dons.

The Englishman hasn’t disappointed in his new venture in France either, racking up 14 goals in his debut campaign. Albeit in Ligue 2, the forward has consistently managed to find the back of the net and played a key role in helping Toulouse reach the promotion play-off last season.

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This time around, Healey has taken his performances to the next level, scoring 13 times in just 21 matches. His exploits in front of goal have helped Toulouse FC emerge as the undisputed favourites to win back promotion come May. The 27-year-old is even the league’s top scorer, ahead of Auxerre’s Gaetan Charbonnier (12 goals).

Healey’s spell at Toulouse might come to an abrupt end, with West Ham prepared to make a late swoop for the Englishman. As mentioned earlier, the Hammers have identified the Toulouse forward as an ideal alternative for Ekitike, and it won’t be surprising to see the Londoners soon come up with a lucrative offer to secure the services of the former MK Dons starlet.

However, with just a few days remaining before the winter transfer window slams shut, West Ham must move swiftly if they are to close a deal in time. Toulouse will be bracing themselves for a move from the Hammers as they look to keep hold of Healey at least until summer, knowing his presence in the team could play a vital role in the club’s promotion hopes this season.

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