West Ham on the right track with mooted record move for striker

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Even before West Ham’s Premier League top-four bid imploded with a 4-1 loss at home to Swansea, a new centre-forward was thought top of the transfer wishlist for the Olympic Stadium-bound club, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Christian Benteke both talked of as summer targets.

The ageing Paris Saint-Germain legend’s lure is obvious, while the Davids Gold and Sullivan would fancy their chances of getting Benteke on the cheap after his disastrous season at Liverpool, where he clearly no longer fits in under coach Jurgen Klopp.

Irons supporters should be further cheered by rumours the co-chairmen have made signing Inter’s Mauro Icardi their number one goal this summer, although the lack of Champions League football in East London could see the likes of Arsenal gazump their city rivals.

The Argentine was on Barcelona’s books between 2008-11, which means he can probably play a bit, but as the Catalans don’t know what do with centre-forwards (see Zlatan) Icardi left Camp Nou for Sampdoria five years ago, making his first-team debut 10 months later.

After bagging 10 goals in his first 31 Serie A appearances for the Genoese outfit, Inter snapped Icardi up for around €12m ahead of the 2013/14 campaign, in which he scored nine times in 22 Serie A matches, an impressive haul considering the Rosario native only started 12 of those fixtures.

That was followed up with 22 in 36 games last term, landing Icardi Serie A’s top scorer gong jointly with Luca Toni.

He’s a long way off countryman Gonzalo Higuain for the same prize this term, with the Napoli man plundering a stratospheric 32 Serie A strikes in 2015/16, but then again nobody is close – Icardi is in a three-man group behind, with Carlos Bacca and Paulo Dybala, on 16/17 goals.

Recent rumours suggest Icardi’s buyout clause in San Siro is as little as £27.5m, which would be a record outlay for the Irons, but transfer chicken feed in the context of the Premier League’s cash-rich times.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.