West Ham United will have some clear answers to the big Ivan Toney question later today.
It is one of the worst kept secrets in football that David Moyes is desperate to sign a striker this summer.
Moyes somehow led West Ham to their best ever Premier League points total and into the Europa League group stages for the first time despite having injury-prone converted winger Michail Antonio as his only senior forward for half the season.
Worst kept secret in football that West Ham want a striker
But with the added demands of European football, West Ham need at least one new striker in the window.
The Hammers have been consistently linked with seven or eight forwards in recent months.
And one of those is Brentford striker Toney.
West have approached the representatives of Toney about a potential move to the London Stadium this summer according to a report from club insiders Claret and Hugh earlier this month.
Toney fits Moyes’s Red Bull recruitment philosophy.
Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony – who sold Toney to Brentford for £10m – claimed a couple of months ago that West Ham co-owner David Sullivan told him he regrets not signing Toney last summer and will try again (Hard Truth Podcast).
But his future hinges directly on whether the Bees can finally seal promotion to the Premier League when they take on Swansea in the world’s most lucrative football match – the Championship playoff final – later today.
Hammers have already sounded out Toney but will get answers today as deciding factor looms large
Brentford have always been clear on the way they operate when it comes to buying and selling players.
The West London club have an excellent recruitment department and players go there knowing if the excel and bigger clubs bid for them, Brentford do not stand in their way (Football London).
If Toney helps fire Brentford to promotion at Wembley it will likely mean West Ham will have to move on other targets.
If the Bees fail, then they will be open to offers for a player who has made it clear he wants to be playing in the top flight.
That does not necessarily mean West Ham will get a deal over the line – there is also reported interest from other Prem clubs.
Lines of communication already open with Brentford which could give West Ham an edge
But lines of communication are already open between Brentford and West Ham following the Said Benrahma and Winston Reid deals.
There were clashes between West Ham and Brentford during the Benrahma negotiations. But the clubs cleared the air.
And managers Thomas Frank and Moyes are understood to enjoy an excellent relationship.
Moyes and West Ham will undoubtedly be watching today’s big game with huge interest.
While it would be nice to have another London derby in the Premier League to replace departing Fulham, perhaps having Toney would be a touch better.