EXCLUSIVE: West Ham eye cut-price January transfer for PSG star to replace Antonio

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 17 Nov 2023 10:03 GMT
  • 3 min read
Michail Antonio, West Ham
© ProShots

West Ham will look for a long-term replacement for Michail Antonio in the January transfer window with the forward slowly falling out of favour under David Moyes, FootballTransfers understands.

Antonio is a fan favourite with the Hammers, having joined the club in 2015, but, despite featuring in all 12 of his side’s Premier League games this season, the 33-year-old has failed to score since netting twice in West Ham’s opening three matches in August.

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West Ham have relied on the goals of Jarrod Bowen this season and Moyes is hoping to bring in a striker in January after failing to sign one during the summer.

EXCLUSIVE: West Ham target Manchester United defender

Antonio was dropped to the bench for West Ham’s most recent game against Nottingham Forest and the Jamaica international had interest from England, Scotland and Saudi Arabia in the summer but an exit was blocked due to the club’s failure to sign a replacement.

However, Moyes is looking for a different type of striker, similar to the mould of Folarin Balogun, who was one of his main targets in the summer before the youngster joined Monaco from Arsenal for €30 million.

Antonio is in the final year of his contract at the London Stadium and while the Hammers are understood to have an option to extend for another season, they may allow their long-serving star to leave if a replacement is found.

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West Ham’s two transfer targets revealed

Two of the players West Ham are said to be looking at are Joshua Zirkzee of Bologna and Paris Saint-Germain forward Hugo Ekitike.

Zirkzee came through the academy at Bayern Munich but moved to Bologna last summer and the 22-year-old has had a bright start to the new campaign, netting four times in 12 games.

Ekitike, meanwhile, has been out of favour at PSG despite permanently joining the club in the summer for €28.5m, playing just nine minutes of football this season.

Hugo Ekitike (right) and Joshua Zirkzee are expected to be targeted by West Ham
© ProShots - Hugo Ekitike (right) and Joshua Zirkzee are expected to be targeted by West Ham

Of the two players, Ekitike is believed to be more likely, having been a long-term target for the Hammers, who believe they could get him for a cheap price in January.

Zirkzee is also very appreciated by the Premier League side but a mid-season transfer would prove difficult due to the Dutchman’s importance to Bologna, who are pushing for European contention in Serie A.

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