Was Mark Noble on a West Ham mission to sound out potential deals for a Michail Antonio replacement and a right-back in France.

Back in February newly ensconced West Ham sporting director Mark Noble was spotted at Monaco for their game against PSG.

The West Ham man witnessed an impressive 3-1 win for the hosts at the Stade Louis II.

Given West Ham have confirmed Noble will be involved in the process of signing players, his visit sparked speculation that the Hammers were eyeing a number of Monaco talents ahead of the summer window.

Hammers News pointed out at the time that Noble had already revealed Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell had invited him to ‘come and see how it’s done’.

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Noble’s French exchange trip

That has not stopped speculation that Noble was in fact reporting back to the club on potential targets.

Paul Mitchell has since announced he is to leave Monaco at the end of the season. And reports in France claim the Principality side are preparing to sell a number of stars this summer.

Two in particular would very much fit in with some of West Ham’s transfer priorities ahead of the summer window.

Was Noble on a West Ham mission to sound out potential deals for a Michail Antonio replacement and a right-back in France?

“Amid uncertainty over which European competition the club will be playing in next season, Monaco have been planning out what promises to be a busy summer, not least with the departure of sporting director Paul Mitchell – although the Englishman is helping to plan out the transfer window,” Get French Football News reports.

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Was Mark Noble on West Ham mission to sound out potential deals for Michail Antonio replacement and right-back in France

“Several high-profile departures are to be expected, especially if the club once again misses out on the Champions League.”

According to RMC Sport ‘several Premier League clubs are ready to make an offer for 21-year-old Brazilian right-back Vanderson.

He has seriously impressed since signing for Monaco and is exactly the kind of pacy, modern, energetic right-back West Ham need to compete with and eventually succeed Vladimir Coufal.

Vanderson was out for that game so did not play when West Ham man Noble visited – but that would not have stopped him discussing the coveted young star with Mitchell.

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Another busy summer on the cards for West Ham

RMC Sport are also reporting that longstanding West Ham target Breel Embolo is attracting interest from Premier League clubs too.

Embolo has a very similar powerful, pacy all-action style to Marko Arnautovic and ageing Hammers striker Antonio. And the latter, who turns 34 next season, is expected leave the club this summer.

West Ham have struggled to make it work with strikers who don’t have a bit of everything in their game. The likes of Sebastien Haller, Javier Hernandez and now Gianluca Scamacca and Danny Ings have struggled.

The Swiss has been linked with West Ham in every window since David Moyes returned to the club. He joined Monaco for around £11m last summer.

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Hammers have been heavily linked with ‘new Arnautovic and Antonio’ Embolo

Now reports claim the Ligue 1 side could quickly cash in on Embolo.

“Embolo is another player attracting interest from the Premier League, although the identities of the interested clubs have not yet leaked,” the report claims.

“The Swiss international arrived for €12.5m (£11m) back in the summer, signing a four-year deal with the Principality club. He has enjoyed an impressive first season in Ligue 1, scoring 14 goals and registering four assists in 38 games in all competitions.”

Embolo did play in the game West Ham director Noble attended, coming on as a sub.

Whether he was eyeing players remains to be seen. But both Embolo and Vanderson could be very good fits indeed at the London Stadium.

Indeed back in the summer of 2021 we suggested Embolo could be the new Arnautovic or Antonio for West Ham.


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