Lorient could snub West Ham United on Terem Moffi to help sister-club Bournemouth
Lorient may overlook West Ham in the race to sign Terem Moffi as they seek to support relegation rivals Bournemouth, according to Ryan Taylor.
After signing Danny Ings from Aston Villa the Hammers are still after more firepower in attack, which could lead to the exit of long-time lone striker Michail Antonio, and have a significant bid of £25million lodged for Nigerian Moffi.
While the player is apparently “unconvinced” by a move to the London Stadium, it appears that French side Nice could be successful with a much lower offer because Bill Foley owns part of both Lorient and the Cherries.
Express journalist Taylor wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening (19 January): “Understand West Ham interest in Lorient striker Terem Moffi remains live despite capture of Danny Ings. Hammers highest bidders at £25m (£20m + £5m in add-ons). Nigerian international unconvinced by move. Nice made third improved offer today worth £15m + £2.6m in add-ons.”
He then followed up with: “Also sense Lorient could favour Nice sale (if they sell) to help new sister club Bournemouth in potential relegation dogfight. West Ham want another striker amid fears Gianluca Scamacca could be set for spell on sidelines.”
On the Express transfer live-blog it goes further, saying: “There are also fears that Lorient do not want to sell West Ham as they are a direct relegation rival for sister club Bournemouth after Bill Foley acquired a stake in the French club.
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“Michail Antonio, who has been the subject of interest from Wolves, could potentially depart later in the window should West Ham secure further forward reinforcements.”
With Bournemouth only one place and one point ahead of the struggling Irons in the table it is clear that they are now direct rivals in the relegation battle.
While it is not against any rules it feels highly unsatisfactory that West Ham could miss out on an important mid-season move because of the combined business interests of Foley.
The businessman completed the purchase of a “significant minority stake” in the Ligue 1 side last week [Bournemouth website, 12 January], so it has only recently became a potential issue.
If it proves to be an impassible hurdle then the club will have to move on very quickly in order to find an alternative before the close of the window.
If Antonio is as unsettled at the London Stadium that it is starting to appear then it may be in his and the club’s best interests to get a replacement in and let him go.
Perhaps Moffi is out of reach on a player level either way but it looks like a situation filled with frustration from a West Ham point of view at this stage.