By Peter Lynch

19th Mar, 2023 | 1:05pm

West Ham United to clear Michail Antonio to sign new forward as Everton lurk

West Ham striker Michail Antonio could be guaranteed “one last big pay day” as Premier League rivals Everton chase his signature, according to Sun journalist Alan Nixon.

The Toffees are reportedly in the market for a striker amid Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury struggles, with manager Sean Dyche keen to play two up front.

With Everton’s billionaire owner Farhad Moshiri to bankroll a move, Nixon believes that while Coventry City’s Viktor Gyokeres is also being monitored by the Toffees, Antonio’s experience makes him the ideal candidate to lead their line should they stay in the Premier League.

“Everton will make an ambitious move for West Ham striker Mikael Antonio if they beat the drop,” Nixon wrote on his Patreon ReluctantNicko. “Sean Dyche’s men will be in the market for a couple of new forwards to bolster a squad that has been woefully short of goals.

“And hammers front man Antonio is top of their list – with owner Farhad Moshiri willing to fund the move once the Toffees are assured of Premier League safety. Hammers held on to Antonio in the last window despite interest from Wolves, and since then he has played a big part in their side

“However, West Ham will be looking for new forwards of their own if they survive and Antonio could be cleared for one last big pay day.”

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Time to go?

Antonio has been a superb servant at West Ham ever since joining from Nottingham Forest in 2015, with the Jamaica international playing in a handful of positions for the Hammers over the years.

He has most recently found a home as a striker, but has witnessed David Moyes bring in the likes of Gianluca Scamacca and Danny Ings in order to improve competition for places.

Despite their signatures, Antonio seemingly remains the number one forward, although injuries to both Scamacca and Ings have ensured the Jamaican has started more often than not this season.

But if Antonio does exit the London Stadium, Everton are undoubtedly a likely option given their need for a striker and Antonio’s experience in the competition.

At 32 years old, the forward will believe he still has plenty to give in the top flight, but a move to Goodison Park will, of course, only transpire if Everton stay up this season. Antonio could end up playing for neither club as both are in real danger of the drop.