West Ham are interested in clinching the signing of highly sought after Marseille forward Andre Ayew, according to the Daily Mirror.
The 24-year-old’s contract with Marseille expires next summer, which means he could be available at a cut price in January or on a Bosman free a few months later.
He is a transfer target for a host of Premier League clubs, including Everton, Swansea and Hull, but Liverpool are currently thought to be the front runners for the player’s signature.
Often played as a winger or striker, Ayew has been a regular in the Ghanaian national team, making 56 appearances with eight goals to his name. He starred in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, scoring against both USA and Germany in the group stages for the Black Stars.
Ayew truly burst onto the scene in 2010 – helping Ghana claim a silver medal at the Africa Cup of Nations – he was then selected the following year as the BBC African Footballer of the Year and also won the Ghana Player of the Year award.
He has continued to be an important figure for both club and country and has shown impressive form in Ligue 1 so far this term, registering two goals and two assists in seven appearances.
The forward has been with the Marseille since joining them as a youth player in 2005 and has gone on to make 139 appearances for the senior side, scoring 36 goals. It is reported that Ayew has rejected the French club's latest contract offer, though, as he plans to run down his deal in order to seal a dream switch to the English top flight.
The player has lofty ambitions and does not want to remain in France. Marseille had a dismal season last term which saw them finish outside of the European places and Ayew is now looking for a new club that can match his ambitions.
Anfield is thought to be his favoured destination and he has even changed agent to try and ensure he secures a move to a big club. However he would be a bit of a gamble for Liverpool as they are in need of an out-and-out striker that will guarantee them goals, so I would assume they may look elsewhere if Mario Balotelli does not get his act together.
With West Ham currently sitting fourth in the Premier League and playing attractive, attacking football Sam Allardyce could be able to convince the Ghanaian to join the Irons, although it will probably depend on where they are come the January transfer window.
If the Hammers are still looking in good shape for a top six finish and European qualification, why not? The club certainly shares the ambitions of the player and with the African contingent building in the side – Diafra Sakho, Alex Song and Cheikhou Kouyate – Ayew may be tempted by a move to east London.
He is worth around £11 million, though it is understood West Ham cannot afford to sign anyone in January unless they make a sale, which could scupper their chances of clinching the forward. A freebie in the summer would suit them down to the ground if they can reach a pre-contractual agreement.