West Ham United are lining up a move to bring Ike Ugbo to the London Stadium this summer.
What’s the talk?
That’s according to a report by Belgian publication Het Belang van Limburg (via Sport Witness), who claimed that West Ham and Fulham have joined the race to sign the Chelsea centre-forward in the summer transfer window, with Genk, Eintracht Frankfurt, Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven also believed to be keen on the 22-year-old.
Fabrizio Romano had reported earlier this week that Genk were leading the race to sign the former England under-20 international this summer, and with the latest update claiming that Ugbo would prefer regular playing time over a contract on a large amount of money, it seems as if the Belgian club could still be in pole position for the transfer.
Either way, HBVL report that it would cost between €3m (£2.5m) and €5m (£4.3m) plus a percentage of the fee received for his future sale in order to get a deal over the line for the striker this summer, something which should be easily affordable for a Europa League club such as the Hammers.
Fans surely buzzing
While convincing Ugbo of a switch to West Ham may be a tricky task this summer, to hear that David Moyes is targeting such a young and exciting player to finally fill the gap in his attacking options left by Sebastien Haller’s January sale is sure to have fans buzzing.
Indeed, over his 32 Jupiler Pro League appearances while on loan at Cercle Brugge last season, the £38,000-per-week forward scored a remarkable 16 goals, along with taking 1.8 shots and making 0.5 key passes per game.
The man the Belgian media dubbed a “decisive” player also returned decent numbers over 28 appearances in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie during a loan spell at Roda JC back in 2019/20, bagging 13 goals and registering three assists in the second tier of Dutch football.
As such, while the 22-year-old does not have much experience at the top level of the English game, it would nevertheless seem that Ugbo knows how to find the back of the net in whichever team, league or country he happens to be playing his football, obviously a very attractive trait to have as a centre-forward.
If West Ham were to get a deal over the line for the Chelsea youngster ahead of next season, we would not bet against him going on to once again return decent numbers at the London Stadium; and with the forward available for a fee of less than £5m, he would certainly appear a risk worth taking for GSB this summer.