West Ham United have lodged a £35 million bid for in-form Serie A star Duvan Zapata.
That’s according to reports in Italy which claim the Hammers want the red hot striker who has 14 goals in his last eight games for Atalanta.
According to Tuttosport, West Ham have identified Colombian Zapata as the ‘ideal replacement for wantaway striker Marko Arnautovic’.
Pellegrini planning for life without Marko?
The Austrian is being linked with a big money move to China but West Ham are yet to receive a bid which matches their £50million valuation.
Manuel Pellegrini has clearly been making plans for the eventuality that Arnautovic will leave, though.
West Ham have been linked with big bids for a host of strikers including Milan-bound Krzysztof Piatek and Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez.
Zapata revisited five years after failed move
But Tuttosport claim Pellegrini’s attention has switched to fellow South American Zapata, who saw a move to West Ham scuppered in 2013 over work permit issues.
At the time Zapata was playing for Estudiantes and had not made a single appearance for Colombia.
West Ham could not argue the toss under the ‘special talent’ rule and Sam Allardyce shelved the move, as reported by Sky Sports at the time.
A European passport to West Ham move?
But after five years playing in Europe, for four different Serie A teams including Napoli, Zapata would now be eligible.
That’s despite only making five appearances for his country in the five years since.
Zapata is only on loan at Atlanta from parent club Sampdoria.
Zapata has a career record of 92 goals in 283 games at a rate of one in every three.