By Dan Carter

17th Sep, 2023 | 7:05am

Michail Antonio contract news emerges at West Ham United amid Premier League transfer speculation

West Ham United are set to begin talks with Michail Antonio over a new contract despite speculation over his future, according to the Sunday People.

The newspaper reported in its print edition on Sunday (17 September, page 63) that the Irons want to extend the Jamaican international’s stay at the London Stadium as he has just entered the final year of his contract and has been the subject of plenty of transfer speculation.

Clubs both in the Saudi Pro League and other Premier League rivals have held an interest in signing the 33-year-old forward, but given his impressive start to the season and the Irons being unable to sign a new centre-forward, West Ham want to offer Antonio a new deal.

Explaining the Irons’ decision-making, Tom Hopkinson wrote: “He remains a key figure in the dressing room, too and with the Hammers having failed to bring in another striker during the transfer window, Moyes wants to get his signing wrapped up.”

Wrapped up

David Moyes and West Ham cannot afford to allow Antonio to depart on a free transfer come the end of the season. Not only is he a key member of the Irons’ dressing room, but he has proven to be their most reliable striker throughout his time in East London.

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In the opening weeks of the season, the 33-year-old has been integral to the Hammers’ early season success and no matter the opposition he causes defenders problems with his impressive physicality and tormenting pace.

While there may be a view at the London Stadium of progressing and modernising the side over the coming transfer window, recruiting consistent strikers has always proved to be a problem area at the London Stadium and while Antonio may not be the most prolific, he is the most reliable.

The Hammers can continue to recruit around the Jamaican international in the hope of finally finding that 20-goal-a-season man, but while that search continues, they would be much better off ensuring that they have their current number nine tied down for the future.

Hopefully, a deal can be reached sooner rather than later, before the riches of the Saudi Pro League and Al-Ettifaq come calling and talks of a potential January exit or pre-contract agreement begin to start up once again.

In other West Ham news, Moyes may have a free run at Scott McTominay in January after Fulham’s contract news