According to a report from A Bola (h/t The Sun), West Ham are closing in on the signing of FC Porto striker Moussa Marega.
The Mali international, 28, enjoyed an excellent 2018/19 campaign with Porto, netting 21 times. He will not return to Porto after the African Cup of Nations and it is his dream to play Premier League football.
West Ham have been tracking Moussa Marega after making a massive impact with Porto. The Hammers also made it clear that they are willing to pay £31million for the player, which is a fee that the Portuguese club would be tempted by, the report adds.
Manuel Pellegrini has already signed three players this summer and now wants to sign a prolific goalscorer.
The addition of Pablo Fornals has given West Ham’s attacking department some more creativity and pace, which will help Pellegrini’s side carve open defences with relative ease. However, the signing of a centre-forward is an absolute necessity to complement the likes of Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Fornals.
Andy Carroll and Lucas Perez were both released at the end of last season, while Javier Hernandez is tipped to leave the club, with Valencia interested. That should leave Pellegrini with only Marko Arnautovic as an option up front. Thus, the Irons need more quality and depth to the forward department and Marega fits the bill perfectly.
After enduring a slow start to life in Portugal, Marega burst into the scene during the 2017/18 season, scoring 23 goals in all competitions as Porto won the title. He went on to have another hugely prolific campaign the following year, which resulted in him scoring 21 goals—six of them coming during their run to the Champions League quarter-finals.
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The Malian is quick, strong and powerful which means he has the physical attributes to adapt to the Premier League and the fact that he can play anywhere across the front-line will also come as an added bonus.
His direct running and hold-up play will add something new to the West Ham attack and the presence of Fornals, Anderson and Lanzini would make him a menace in the box for the opposition defenders.
Marega has arguably been the best striker in Portugal for the last couple of seasons now and he would certainly be a massive addition to West Ham. Hence, the Hammers will do well to get this transfer done at the earliest.