Football

West Ham waiting for obstacle to clear as club make star’s exit ‘necessity’

Barcelona have made it a priority summer transfer task to sell West Ham striker target Martin Braithwaite, according to reports in Spain.

The Hammers have been looking for a new target man for some time, amid Michail Antonio’s injury worries. Furthermore, club-record signing Sebastian Haller did not work out and left for a loss in January. Several names emerged as targets in the same month – such as Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri – but nothing materialised.

Before then, though, West Ham had links with Barcelona striker Braithwaite last summer.

The 30-year-old former Middlesbrough man made the shock move to the Spanish giants in 2020. He has proved a decent addition, chipping in with eight goals and four assists in 53 games.

However, he has risen his profile further by helping Denmark reach the Euro 2020 semi-finals. Indeed, he scored in the 4-0 last-16 win over Wales.

Links with West Ham have subsequently resurfaced and, amid Barcelona’s dire financial situation, AS claims that they have made selling Braithwaite a ‘necessity’.

Barca have been crippled by debts and have even struggled to register new signings Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero – who both arrived as free transfers.

Once those players settle in, though, Braithwaite will become surplus to requirements.

However, West Ham must wait to see if the striker wants to move on; he has not yet made his stance on a Camp Nou exit clear.

Braithwaite would add experience to West Ham’s front line, having made over 300 career outings.

The London club are facing a crucial summer transfer window as they look to build on last season’s strong showing.

They finished sixth last season and will, as a result, be chasing the new season’s Europa League. While the club can look forward to the competition, adding squad depth – such as Braithwaite – will help.

Boss David Moyes also wants to sign Manchester United loanee Jesse Lingard on a permanent deal. In any case, the midfielder has set his stall out over being used as a makeweight by the Old Trafford club.

West Ham transfer exit close

As well as new signings, the Hammers can also raise funds from key sales in their squad.

Felipe Anderson is one player who could leave, having spent last season on loan at Porto.

Talk of a move back to former club Lazio has grown and stepped up in recent days.


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