Ivan Perisic has followed in the footsteps of top stars such as Karim Benzema in being linked with a shock move to West Ham United.

According to the likes of The Sun, West Ham will rival Manchester United and Arsenal for the £35million star.

The rumours were probably met with excitement among Hammers fans of a certain age.

But for those who have been around long enough, particularly under the tenure of David Sullivan and David Gold, it was groundhog day.

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Perisic, Benzema and the April Fools

Almost like clockwork at this time of year West Ham are suddenly linked with a world star or two.

Last year – almost to the day – it was Karim Benzema (Daily Star).

Of course Benzema did not arrive at the London Stadium.

And there is as much chance Croatian star Perisic will swap Inter Milan for West Ham this summer.

It followed a similar pattern from West Ham’s opening season at the London Stadium.

 

The owners were very public with their pledge on the club’s official website when they insisted they would spend over £30 million if necessary on one player, as reported by the likes of the The Mirror at the time.

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Familiar pattern emerging

“We know that we need a top striker which is the hardest thing to sign. We need a 20-goal-a-season striker and that will cost us £25m or £30million,” Sullivan said on whufc.com.

West Ham ended up with Simone Zaza and Jonathan Callieri on loan.

Not that West Ham can’t attract top players. Of course they can – and have – in the past. And the owners did finally spend the kind of money they had been promising too last summer.

But the timing of the Perisic speculation is all too conspicuous with West Ham’s season ticket renewal deadline a month away.

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New approach to recruitment?

That’s not to say it has been instigated by the owners.

Diehard Hammers are well used to it, though, and are already steeling themselves for potential disappointment.

The club are reportedly targeting younger, hungrier players they can build a team around.

Now that would make a refreshing change.