West Ham offer €40m for Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi

Hammers willing to smash club record deal for highly sought after Belgian striker

West Ham have reportedly bid €40 million for Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi. Photograph: Getty

West Ham have reportedly bid €40 million for Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi. Photograph: Getty

 

West Ham have offered €40m (£31m) to Marseille for striker Michy Batshuayi but face competition from a host of European clubs including Juventus to sign the Belgium striker this summer.

Slaven Bilic’s side are long-term admirers of the 22-year-old, who has scored 16 goals for Marseille this season despite the club’s struggles at the lower end of Ligue 1, and first attempted to buy him in January but were told he was not interesting in leaving until the end of the season.

They have now returned with a firm offer which would smash their club record transfer but must now wait to hear whether it will be accepted. Despite Batshuayi insisting last week that he wanted to stay in France, Marseille are understood to be keen to sell the striker they bought for just £4.8m (€6m) from Standard Liège in 2014 after chairwoman Margarita Louis-Dreyfus having put the club up for sale last month. Any deal is likely to be concluded before the end of the month with the player hoping to be selected in coach Marc Wilmots’ Belgium squad for Euro 2016 next week.

Juventus have also indicated that they would be willing to match West Ham’s offer, with Álvaro Morata likely to be sold back to Real Madrid this summer and a potential target for Chelsea. Roma, who are in negotiations with the Londoners over the transfer of Batshuayi’s Belgium team-mate Radja Nainggolan, are another of his suitors.

Tottenham and Liverpool also have a long-standing interest in Batshuayi, who signed a contract extension with Marseille in January and have been asked to kept abreast of any developments, although it is understood they may not be willing to pay such a big fee. Borussia Dortmund, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona have been linked in the past and could enter the race at the last minute.

Batshuayi was also the subject of a similar offer from Stoke in January but his representatives have indicated that he would not be interested in moving to the Potteries.

West Ham’s current transfer record is the £15.5m (€19.6m) they paid Liverpool in 2013, while they also paid £10.7m (€13.5m) last summer to sign Batshuayi’s former Marseille team-mate Dimitri Payet.

(Guardian service)

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