According to reports in the Italian media, West Ham have been told to increase their bid for Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claims that West Ham’s bid of €30m (just over £25m) was dismissed by Atalanta, who want €45m (nearly £40m).

This deal is complicated as Zapata is currently on a two-year loan at Atalanta from Sampdoria with a view to making that permanent for €26m (around £22m).

Atalanta are therefore unwilling to entertain West Ham’s offer of around £25m as they would make little profit on the striker.

If West Ham wish to open talks with Zapata, West Ham will need to stump up a sizeable fee to solve their striker problem.

Who is Duvan Zapata?

(Photo credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

Zapata is a physical centre-forward who came close to joining West Ham in 2013 (The Guardian). However, that £6.8m deal fell through due to work permit problems.

The Colombia international has since carved out his career in Italy, playing for Napoli, Udinese, Sampdoria and Atalanta.

After three average goal scoring seasons, Zapata hit double figures in 2016/17 (at Udinese) and 2017/18 (at Sampdoria) before moving to Atalanta.

With 22 goals and five assists in 37 games, this has been the most productive season so far for the 27-year-old.

West Ham will now have to weigh up whether Zapata is the answer to their problems up front and whether to spend big money on him.

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