West Ham after man once tipped to be the next Zinedine Zidane


West Ham have been linked with a move for Olympique Lyonnais’ Yoann Gourcuff, a man one tipped to step into the shoes of Zinedine Zidane.

The Frenchman is available on a free transfer at the end of the season with his club stating that they will not be renewing his contract.

With uncertainty around who will be in charge at the Boleyn Ground throughout the 2015-16 season remaining, it is unlikely any solid move will be secured just yet, but the interest from the club’s hierarchy is said to be there.

Having signed for Lyon for a bumper €22m back in 2010, there were high hopes for Gourcuff, some proclaiming that he could be the next Zizou.

His contributions for Les Gones have been solid, if unspectacular.

In 90 Ligue 1 appearances, the 28-year-old has found the net on 14 occasions, and provided an assist 17 times in his five years at the Stade de Gerland.

But the big stumbling block to any sustained period of success has been numerous injuries.

The attacking midfielder has reportedly missed 90 matches through various ailments over the course of his five seasons in central France, including the whole of the 2011-12 season.

His omission in that campaign came after undergoing ankle surgery for a recurring problem.

And with Andy Carroll’s West Ham career failing to reach the promised heights for much of the same reason, it is unclear whether the Hammers would be willing to take that risk.

Lyon have enjoyed a brilliant campaign across the Channel, with second place, and a spot in the Champions League confirmed.

It does though look as if Gourcuff will miss out on another year in Europe’s premier competition, but a move to West ham could offer him continental football of a different kind.

The east Londoners are currently awaiting confirmation that they have qualified for the Europa League via the Fair Play league.

Ratification of that progress could see the Irons spending their pre-season travelling to the likes of the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Moldova en route to a place in the competition proper.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.