Ajax have agreed a £22.5m deal to sign West Ham striker Sebastien Haller, talkSPORT understands.
The Ivory Coast international is having a medical at the Dutch club ahead of a move this month.
And the Hammers could bring Marko Arnautovic back to the London Stadium as his replacement.
Club-record signing Haller has scored just 14 goals in 18 months for West HamGetty Images – Getty
The east London club are locked in talks with Ajax over the sale of Haller, who has flopped since his club-record £45million arrival from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019.
The 26-year-old striker has struggled to make an impact at the London Stadium, managing just 14 goals and three assists in 53 games for West Ham.
He has been given a rare run in the first-XI by David Moyes this season due to Michail Antonio’s hamstring injury, but having scored just three goals in the Premier League and with Antonio edging towards a return, it appears the Hammers are ready to cut their losses.
Ajax have struck a deal to sign the frontman, but it’s a pinch of what West Ham paid for him a year-and-a-half ago, and no deal is confirmed yet.
But West Ham are already looking at possible replacements… including a familiar face who wants to return to Europe.
“There’s big news coming out of West Ham this morning that Sebastien Haller is wanted by Ajax,” transfer guru Alex Crook told talkSPORT host Jim White on Thursday.
Haller has failed to make the impact expected of him, having joined West Ham on the back of scoring 20 goals and providing 12 assists in his final season for FrankfurtGETTY IMAGES
“It’s important to stress that no fee has been agreed at this stage, but Ajax are confident they can get this deal done before the end of the window.
“My understanding is they’ve offered to pay €26m [£22.5m], that would be quite a hit for West Ham on the £45m they paid for Haller at the start of the 2019/20 season.
“I think it’s pretty clear now that Haller isn’t really a player David Moyes feels he can hang his hat on. He has scored some spectacular goals but not with the regularity Moyes is looking for, and we know that when Michail Antonio is fit he won’t be in the starting XI.
“But I think this deal hinges on whether Moyes can find a replacement. Josh King was a target in the summer and they could well go back in for him, or it could increase the chances of a shock return for Marko Arnautovic to London Stadium.
“It looks like that may well have some legs.”
Arnautovic is reportedly done with China and wants to return to European footballGetty – Contributor
Speaking to talkSPORT earlier this week, Crook revealed West Ham’s interest in Arnautovic, who is reportedly keen to return to the English game after a stint in China.
The Austrian forward played the best football of his career in a West Ham shirt, but left a bitter taste in the mouth of Hammers fans after he ditched the club for a big payday with Shanghai SIPG in July 2019.
Arnautovic has managed 17 goals and four assists in 35 games for the Chinese Super League club, but it is claimed he wants to return to Europe after a year and a half in the Far East.
And David Moyes is said to be very keen.
“Arnautovic has made no secret of the fact he would like to return to Europe, having found that life in China is perhaps not all it was cracked up to be,” Crook said.
“The information I have is that David Moyes would welcome Arnautovic back to West Ham.
“He’s even raised the possibility with the owners about a potential loan deal.
“He’d have to take a huge pay cut, he’s earning in excess of £200,000-a-week in China but the Austrian is open to the idea – the ball is very much in the court of David Sullivan and David Gold.”
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