By Sam Stone

29th Jan, 2023 | 11:45am

West Ham United exit for Michail Antonio could open door for Marcos Leonardo signing

Michail Antonio’s West Ham future had been a talking point amongst fans during the entirety of the January transfer window.

The 32-year-old has struggled for form in the 2022/23 campaign and it seems as if his best years are now certainly behind him. Gianluca Scamacca has been David Moyes’ first choice when fit and with the arrival of Danny Ings, the Jamaican is certainly staring the barrel of a London Stadium exit.

The Mirror suggest (29 January, page 78) Nottingham Forest, Wolves and Everton are all plotting moves for the out-of-form striker.

If Antonio does depart the London Stadium, another forward could well be on the agenda for Moyes, and the latest player to be linked with the Hammers is Santos striker Marcos Leonardo.

According to Brazilian radio channel SBT Rio journalist Vene Casagrande (via Twitter, 28 January), the Hammers have made a loan bid for the 19-year-old striker, with a purchase option of £9.6million.

Although a move does seem unlikely at the moment, Antonio’s exit could well force Moyes’ hand in the remaining time in the transfer window. Scamacca has had a stop-start season to date and has had his injury issues as well. Furthermore, Ings has also been known to have had has injury problems in the past.

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Therefore, the Scot would potentially be keen to add another striker to his squad. Leonardo looks like an exciting prospect and would be a good third-choice option for the West Ham boss to call upon.

West Ham are never too far away from a transfer rumour and it wouldn’t be a surprise if there were some ongoing at the London Stadium come deadline day.