Transfer News: West Ham United lead race to sign Ellyes Skhiri

West Ham United are in pole position to sign Ellyes Skhiri, who is also a target for Chelsea and is valued at around €9 million by Koln.

According to a report by Transfer Market Web, West Ham United are leading the race to sign Ellyes Skhiri from Koln before the summer transfer window slams shut. The 26-year-old midfielder, who is valued at around €9 million by the Bundesliga outfit, is also being courted by Chelsea, among several other suitors.

Ellyes Skhiri joined 1.FC Koln from Montpellier in the summer of 2019 and has since proven to be a solid addition to the Bundesliga club. To date, the Tunisian international has made 71 appearances for Koln, chipping in with eight goals and six assists along the way.

Already quite a popular figure in the transfer market before he left Montpellier for Koln, the 26-year-old has seen his stock rise further, as suggested by the interest from the likes of AS Roma, Atalanta, Napoli, Fiorentina, Olympique Lyonnais and Sevilla. In particular, though, West Ham United and Chelsea are hot on his trails this summer.

West Ham United have not been too busy searching for a midfielder in the transfer market this summer, with defence and attack being given more priority instead. However, it is important to note that Mark Noble is approaching the final phase of his career and has already started getting phased out of the first-team picture.

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In addition, Declan Rice, who has coincidentally been linked with Chelsea, is facing an uncertain future at the London Stadium, thereby necessitating the arrival of a midfielder, even though Rice is only likely to leave West Ham next summer. Chelsea, on the other hand, are in the market for a midfielder.

The Blues have sent Billy Gilmour on a season-long loan deal to Norwich City this summer, leaving Thomas Tuchel as Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic as the only regulars at his disposal. Indeed, the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tiemouye Bakayoko, Ross Barkley and others are either likely to be loaned out once again or sold altogether by Chelsea this summer.

As a result, the west Londoners have been linked with a number of midfielders including Martin Odegaard. Skhiri, though, would be a low cost option for Chelsea, especially with Rice not likely to be signed this summer. Having said that, West Ham are leading the race to sign the 26-year-old, who is valued at around €9 million by Koln.

The €9 million price tag is certainly well within West Ham’s reach, and it will, therefore, be interesting to see if they can land him successfully this summer. If not, Chelsea and other suitors will be waiting in the wings to see if an opportunity presents itself in pursuit of the Tunisian star.

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