No sooner had Manuel Pellegrini completed the long-awaited signing of Sebastien Haller than West Ham United were already been linked with a second striker.
West Ham signed Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt for a reported £45million this week (BBC Sport).
The capture comes as a great relief to Pellegrini and West Ham fans after the departures of Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll and Lucas Perez.
In the aftermath of the Haller deal there was a revelation that West Ham were already in the hunt for one of two forwards.
Insider sworn to secrecy over two striker targets
According to reliable West Ham insider ExWHUemployee, he was sworn to secrecy over the identity of the two targets.
But he sent Twitter in meltdown by dropping some subtle clues for Hammers fans to agonise over.
“Just one last time of trying to clarify what I said on the podcast,” ExWHUemployee said on Twitter.
“There are 2 potential forwards: One plays in a top league in Europe, I linked us two him about 2 years ago and have mentioned him on show this year (club don’t want his name out) the other one is African.”
Just one last time of trying to clarify what I said on the podcast. There are 2 potential forwards: One plays in a top league in Europe, I linked us two him about 2 years ago and have mentioned him on show this year (club don’t want his name out) the other one is African
— ExWHUemployee (@ExWHUemployee) July 18, 2019
The post sent the rumour mill into overdrive.
A plethora of suggestions were put forward by supporters but the Twitter and radio personality remained tight-lipped.
Clues send West Ham Twitter into meltdown
So with a bit of quick research and working on the clues given are Cedric Bakambu and Duvan Zapata the two strikers in question?
Both were linked with West Ham two years ago so that is one box ticked.
Bakambu is African and a DR Congo international teammate of West Ham defender Arthur Masuaku.
The forward was linked with West Ham in 2017 (The Telegraph) while he was plying his trade at Villareal – club both Pellegrini and director of football Mario Husillos know well.
But the jet-heeled forward was snapped up by Chinese club Beijing Guoan for £35million in January 2018.
He has been there ever since scoring 23 goals in 28 games. At Villareal he netted 46 goals in 104 games over three seasons.
Duvan the man?
Then there is Zapata.
The Colombian was linked with West Ham originally way back in 2013 during Sam Allardyce’s tenure, then again in 2017 and throughout this summer – as recently as last week (The Sun).
The Sampdoria-owned striker spent last season on loan at Atalanta and scored an incredible 28 goals in 48 games.
Serie A is considered Europe’s third strongest league behind the Premier League and La Liga.
Both strikers are 28 years old meaning this would likely be the last big move of their careers.
Whether Bakambu and Zapata are the two strikers in question only Pellegrini, Husillos, David Sullivan – and seemingly ExWHUemployee know.
With two weeks left of the transfer window West Ham fans won’t have to wait too long to find out.