West Ham United are reportedly among the clubs keeping a close eye on 1.FC Koln’s rising superstar Ellyes Shkiri, who is valued at just €12 million.

According to Transfer Market Web, West Ham United have retained their interest in Ellyes Skhiri, who has continued to impress with his performances in the Bundesliga. In fact, the Hammers are joined by a long list of clubs including Premier League rivals Chelsea as well as Serie A giants like Napoli, Atalanta and AS Roma, for the pursuit of the 1.FC Koln midfielder.

Shkiri is currently contracted to Koln until 2023, with the player being valued at around €12 million. The German outfit, though, is trying to hold negotiations over a potential new deal that could help them increase their asking price for the former Montpellier prodigy.

A defensive midfielder by trade, Shkiri made his breakthrough in the Bundesliga a few seasons ago, but he truly made an impression last term, as his five goals in 32 matches were incredibly important in helping Koln stave off relegation. He even scored in the vital relegation playoff game against Holstein Kiel.

As a result of his excellent performances in the Bundesliga, the 26-year-old was linked with a summer switch to West Ham. But the move did not materialise, with the Hammers ending up signing Alex Kral, who is teammates with Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek in the Czech Republic national team.

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Shkiri, though, has continued his excellent run of form in the new season. His contributions in the middle of the park have been critical in helping the Billygoats enjoy an extraordinary start to the campaign that has seen them secure three wins in seven matches. The midfielder most recently starred in the 3-1 win over Greuther Furth this Friday, scoring a second half brace.

The midfielder’s performances have not gone unnoticed, with West Ham retaining their interest in the Koln midfielder. The Hammers’ interest in the Tunisian international likely stems from the uncertain future of star player Declan Rice.

The Hammers have reportedly put a £90 million price tag on the English international, who is courted by top clubs across the Premier League including Chelsea. The Blues are incidentally interested in Skhiri, perhaps as a potential backup option for Jorginho, who is slowly nearing the final phase of his career.

As for West Ham, Ellyes Shkiri might not be a like for like replacement for Chelsea target Rice in terms of quality, but his potential additional could be a step in the right direction as the club braces itself for life without their prized midfield asset next season.

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