West Ham have pulled out of a move to sign Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, and are on the verge of giving up hope of acquiring Olivier Giroud, leaving their summer transfer plans in chaos.
The Hammers had been doggedly pursuing a deal for Iheanacho, City’s reserve striker, as they attempt to bolster their forward line this summer.
However, Goal can confirm reports – first broken by Hammers’ news site ClaretAndHugh – that the club have pulled the plug on his transfer on the instruction of manager Slaven Bilic.
Co-chairman David Sullivan had agreed a deal in principle with City, which included a buyback clause, only for Bilic to snub the player due to his relative inexperience in the Premier League.
The collapse of the deal appears to open the door to Leicester City, with reports suggesting that the Foxes have agreed a £25 million deal, including a buyback clause.
While West Ham have a number of alternative targets available to them – including Javier Hernandez at Bayer Leverkusen and Burnley’s Andre Gray – they are also in danger of missing out on Arsenal striker Giroud.
However, sources have now revealed that there is a growing acceptance that Giroud wants to stay at Arsenal and fight for his place.
Reports suggest that both Everton, who are on the verge of selling Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, and Marseille remain keen on the France international but he is unlikely to make a decision over his future before August.
The Hammers, though, are not prepared to wait that long, and will instead focus their efforts elsewhere.
While Hernandez is believed to be an attainable target, such is his £13m release clause, the former Manchester United striker is understood to be demanding a weekly wage of £140,000, which would break the club’s current wage structure.