A striker many thought might be a West Ham United target this summer after being raved about by David Moyes now looks set for Liverpool or Borussia Dortmund.
It is perhaps football’s worst kept secret that West Ham are looking to sign a new striker this summer.
And it appears Jurgen Klopp is keen to bolster his Liverpool squad too having handed the Premier League title back to Manchester City last season.
West Ham struggling to identify and sign much-needed striker since selling offloading Haller
At West Ham, actually identifying a forward and getting him signed appears to be proving difficult for Moyes thus far. He has had since January – when West Ham sold Sebastien Haller to Ajax – to shape his plans.
Ironically Liverpool have been linked with a surprise move for the man who fills in up front for West Ham, Jarrod Bowen (This Is Anfield).
Reported West Ham targets Patson Daka and Olivier Giroud have moved elsewhere and Ivan Toney is staying at Brentford.
Now another forward who Moyes has been linked with after lavishing him with praise – Donyell Malen – could be set to move elsewhere with Liverpool and Dortmund leading the chase.
Striker Moyes raved about now looks set for Liverpool or Dortmund
Speaking to The Times ahead of the start of Euro 2020 last month, Moyes picked out Dutch forward Malen as a potential star.
And the West Ham boss revealed there was plenty of interest in the 22-year-old from the Premier League.
“Malen is an interesting talent who comes into the category of up-and-coming players to watch,” Moyes told The Times.
“He probably starts the tournament as back-up to Memphis Depay but he scored 27 goals for PSV Eindhoven last season. And Holland are still striving to find their best XI and formation. Which means you might see some of their young players getting opportunities.
“Malen was at Arsenal as a youngster and is attracting Premier League interest again… Style-wise, Malen is probably closer to Depay than Van Nistelrooy.”
But now Malen looks set for a move to Liverpool or Borussia Dortmund instead.
Deal is within West Ham’s budget but Champions League factor and notorious agent make any prospect difficult
Dortmund were leading the chase but have refused to bow to a £7.8m demand from notorious agent Mino Raiola according to The Express.
West Ham are said to have around £30m to spend on a striker.
And Malen’s valuation was reportedly around £26m until Raiola’s demands put the Bundesliga move in doubt.
The Express claims that has opened the door for Liverpool. But there is no mention of West Ham with Moyes perhaps conceding defeat in any battle with the two Champions League clubs – even if the Hammers would be the only ones capable of offering guaranteed game time.
If Malen was a target for Moyes – or even a pipe dream – the new reports would suggest the Scot needs to move on to other targets quickly.