West Ham United are reportedly intent on signing a striker in January and have identified Hellas Verona’s Giovanni Simeone as a transfer target.

According to a report from the Express, West Ham United are eyeing a swoop for Hellas Verona and Argentina centre-forward Giovanni Simeone in the upcoming January transfer window.

The 26-year-old striker, son of Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, spent his youth career at Rayo Majadahonda and River Plate in Argentina before moving to Italy in 2016 when he signed for Genoa. After a year, he joined Fiorentina, where he spent two productive seasons before signing for Cagliari in 2019, initially on loan, with the move made permanent last year.

Simeone produced an underwhelming tally of just 18 goals from 72 matches in two seasons with the club. But having signed for Hellas Verona in the summer earlier this year, the Argentine international has upped his game. So far in the ongoing campaign, the striker has produced a very impressive tally of nine goals and three assists in 11 Serie A outings.

Simeone is the second-highest goalscorer in the Italian top-flight this season, with only Lazio’s Ciro Immobile (10) finding the back of the net on more occasions. The 26-year-old’s exploits in the final third have now led to strong interest from West Ham United. 

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The Hammers have been in the market for a new centre-forward since January earlier this year, after selling Sebastien Haller to AFC Ajax. However, they have been unable to secure any signing in the last two transfer windows, which has left Michail Antonio as the only natural option in the No. 9 role for David Moyes & co.

But with West Ham now looking like serious contenders for a top-four finish in the Premier League, coupled with their progression in the UEFA Europa League, they are keen on adding another striker to have a contingency in place should Antonio get sidelined for some reason.

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette has emerged as an option, while Simeone is also a name that the east London outfit are now considering. The 26-year-old was on the club’s shortlist last January, but they failed to strike an agreement with Cagliari. He was also being looked at in the summer, but the Hammers were unable to pull off the deal again.

Simeone has signed for Hellas Verona on a season-long loan deal with an option to make the transfer permanent for a sum of £10.2 million, which the Serie A outfit intend to trigger. All this makes West Ham’s pursuit of the Argentine international complicated, and it remains to be seen if they are third time lucky in pursuit of the 26-year-old.

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