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West Ham, Newcastle face Serie A rivals for 30-goal Spain star

West Ham United and Newcastle United have both been linked with a summer swoop for Villarreal forward Gerard Moreno while there is also interest from Italy.

Gerard, 29, has just completed his most successful season, scoring 30 goals in all competitions. The Yellow Submarine finished seventh in the La Liga standings but will play in next season’s Champions League. They qualified through winning the Europa League, beating Manchester United after an epic penalty shootout.

Gerrard scored in regulation play and also slotted home from 12 yards as the Spaniards downed the Red Devils in Poland. Having bagged 23 league goals, it is not surprising that clubs have shown an interest.

The Spain international seems to be hitting peak form, having bagged 20 goals during the previous campaign. The Hammers are known to be in the market for a new striker.

It was thought manager David Moyes was eager to sign Celtic hitman Odsonne Edouard. But reports on Monday suggest Leicester City have stolen a march on their rivals.

And it looks as though the Scot may well focus his efforts elsewhere. The East End outfit cannot offer Champions League football but they will play in next season’s Europa League.

Newcastle will have neither as a draw for new players and St James’ Park seems an unlikely option. Calciomercato are reporting that Roma are also monitoring his situation, with Jose Mourinho set to take over.

No need for Gerard to move on

Gerard began his career with Villarreal before a loan spell with Mallorca and three years at Espanyol. He returned to Estadio de la Ceramica in June 2018 and has elevated his career to a new level.

The man from Catalonia has notched 63 goals from 132 outings in all competitions. And he is in the Spain squad for this summer’s delayed European Championship.

He is a manager’s dream, with 11 assists in addition to his impressive goals haul in 2020-2021. Villarreal are under no pressure to sell and it is open to question whether he would want to leave the club.

It is the place where he has enjoyed the most success and he may see a move to either of the English outfits as a step backwards. But money talks in football and the London Stadium club will need to dig deep to get him on board.

If they do, Gerard has the makings of a player who could light up the Premier League. A decent showing at Euro 2020 will doubtless raise his profile – and his price.

READ MORE: West Ham head Prem quartet for summer assault on Spanish assist king



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