Reports in Spain earlier this week claimed that West Ham United have eyes on a summer swoop for Raul de Tomas, but David Moyes may not deliver the shrewd signing he is after in the RCD Espanyol de Barcelona striker.
Moyes is understood to be plotting a move to strengthen the Irons’ offensive options in the off-season but hopes to acquire a lesser-known forward, with the intention of whoever he targets growing into an established figure.
West Ham currently have no proven striker depth behind Michail Antonio following Sebastien Haller’s £20m move to AFC Ajax in January, with Moyes opting against reinvesting the funds during the winter market.
De Tomas has emerged as a potential candidate to answer Moyes’ request, but the West Ham boss faces rival approaches from Leeds United and Leicester City as the two sides likewise seek to bring the 26-year-old to the Premier League.
Leeds are lining up a move for De Tomas as boss Marcelo Bielsa strives to add depth behind 14-goal top-scorer Patrick Bamford, amid doubt in Rodrigo Moreno’s long-term future at Elland Road.
Brendan Rodgers likewise has eyes on De Tomas as he wants to sign a new striker in the summer, with Jamie Vardy now 34 and soon entering the final two years of his £140,000-per-week contract at the King Power Stadium.
De Tomas is keen to test himself outside of his native Spain again after the failure of his time with SL Benfica, where the Madrid-born frontman lasted just six-months and scored three goals in 17 games across all competitions.
Espanyol signed De Tomas in January 2020 and while he was unable to help prevent the RCDE Stadium natives from being relegated from La Liga, he has since proven to be far too good to be playing second-tier football.
But Moyes moving to offer De Tomas his second chance at continental football with a spell at West Ham may not see the Scottish coach find the shrewd signing he is alleged to be after.
The Spanish report notes that the three Premier League sides interested in De Tomas are willing to make a ‘large investment’ to sign the former Spain U19 international, who Espanyol fought to retain following their relegation by demanding that Sevilla pay his full €60m (£51m) release clause.
Espanyol deemed De Tomas to be a cornerstone of their promotion efforts, which has proven to be true with the £13k-p/w speedster’s goals firing the Catalan outfit to the top of the Segunda table and with the division’s best goal difference.
The Periquitos will be expected to maintain their contest for an automatic return to La Liga once action resumes after the international break, which would surely see De Tomas’ value rise and move away from the potential of being a shrewd buy that Moyes hopes he could be.
AND in other news, West Ham have been tipped to sign a 12-goal striker who is “Moyes’ type”…