West Ham have reportedly opened talks with AC Milan over a £26m swoop for Carlos Bacca in a move that could have bad news for unsettled strikers across the Premier League.
According to the Telegraph, the Irons are hopeful of landing finally landing a new centre-forward, after failing in their attempts to lure Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon, Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi or AZ Alkmaar striker Vincent Janssen to the Olympic Stadium.
Should the Colombian meet the east London club in the middle over his £120,000 wager demands and secure a move, it seems certain that Diafra Sakho will leave the club – a development that could spell disaster for other domestic-based strikers seeking switches this summer.
In a move that hints that the Senegalese sharpshooter spies the scrawl on the wall, he handed in a transfer request at West Ham on Thursday, according to Sky sources.
Thus Sakho enters the market as a cost-effective alternative to other Premier League proven strikers with a combination of limited first-team chances at their current employers and the inclination to remain within the none-more well-remunerated English top tier.
His 2015/16 may have been robbed of consistency by injury, personal problems and a cooling relationship with his club, but the 26-year-old bagged a league goal every 176 minutes in his first campaign at the Boleyn Ground.
Liverpool’s Christian Benteke and Saido Berahino fit firmly into just such a bracket and find themselves lumbered with pricetags that remain eye-watering for the level of team currently keen to snap them up.
Around £30m looks like the basement of acceptable payment for the Liverpool man, while West Brom are sure to be holding out for £20m-plus for their former England Under-21 star.
Berahino has never matched the wantaway West Ham forward’s 2014/15 league strike rate, while Benteke hasn’t performed significantly better since his first term at Aston Villa, when he bagged a total of 19, at a ratio of once every 148 minutes.
At half the price, or quite possibly less (given how keen the Irons are likely to be to shift him) the news that Sakho is on the move must have his market rivals fretting over their futures.