West Ham United are one of the busiest clubs in the transfer market this summer. Having landed a title winner in Manuel Pellegrini, the owners seem to be happy to let him spend big to bring the glory days back to the club in the near future.
They have already signed a number of exciting players for various roles in the side but that will now need Pellegrini to start selling players, who will struggle to get into the first team next season. One of many such players that could be now up for grabs this summer is Michail Antonio.
The likes of Chiekhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang and Antonio are already attracting interest from various clubs in Europe. Reports from Sky Sports today claim that Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace are ready to make a move for the versatile winger.
Having joined West Ham from Nottingham Forest in 2015, the 28-year old has never cemented his place in the first team but has been effective in patches, playing on the right wing, even as a wing-back. He scored nine goals each in his first two seasons at the club but missed a large chunk of the previous season with injuries.
He registered three goals and an assist and made just 16 starts all campaign, playing no real role in the club’s revival late last season. He is strong and athletic, can bully defenders with his strength and pace, and is a versatile option, most managers would love to have him in their squad.
It is reported that Pellegrini is impressed with what Antonio has on offer during the pre-season in the Alps. However, with West Ham’s spending this summer crossing the £90m mark, the manager will now be forced to sell a few of the players in his squad and the 28-year old could face the axe if the right offer is made.
The Hammers reportedly need more than £15m to consider selling Antonio and it is now understood that the Eagles are readying a similar bid, to try and land the winger this summer. At 28, he will hit his peak as a footballer in the next couple of seasons and will be a huge asset for Palace.
West Ham could have done with his versatility in the squad but he is not a loss that cannot be replaced. He has three years left on his current deal and at £15m is not too expensive. So Palace might have to fend off interest from other clubs to land him. But do you think Antonio should be sold?