West Ham are set to sign highly-rated youngster Pierre Ekwah from London rivals Chelsea, according to reports on Monday.
The 19-year-old, who can play at centre-back or as a defensive midfielder, was on trial with the Hammers towards the end of last season. Ekwah played two matches for West Ham’s academy’s Under-23 side during that short stint.
And the report in the Evening Standard claims he did enough in those games to convince the Hammers to sign him.
The imminent addition of the youngster is being viewed as somewhat of a coup for David Moyes’ men.
Ekwah was very highly rated when coming through the ranks at Nantes and was a regular in Chelsea’s youth set-up over the past few seasons.
A deal is expected to be completed in the coming days, as Ekwah becomes West Ham’s first signing of the summer.
West Ham, Everton in battle for winger
Meanwhile, West Ham and Everton are among the suitors for exit-linked Lazio attacker Joaquin Correa, according to reports.
Lazio have already lost their head coach this summer, with Simone Inzaghi moving to Inter Milan. Maurizio Sarri looks like the leading candidate to replace him, but he could inherit a squad that will be undergoing some changes. Correa is one of those at risk of being sold, and two Premier League teams are aware of the opportunity.
According to TyC Sports, citing Italian sources, Sarri wants to make five signings if he takes over at Lazio. To fund those deals, they first must make one big sale, and Correa could be the man to make way.
The Argentine report claims that West Ham and Everton are both preparing bids for the 26-year-old. Correa could cost around €30m, but both clubs have made enquiries and do not seem to be put off.
Correa scored 11 goals from 38 appearances in all competitions in the 2020-21 season. It was his third campaign in the Italian capital and he has been a useful player in his time there. But that now could be coming to an end.
Hammers chasing attacking reinforcements
West Ham have been searching for attacking reinforcements ever since selling Sebastien Haller to Ajax in January. Correa plays in a slightly deeper attacking role than some of the other names to be linked with them, but can feature as a centre-forward.
Incidentally, the South American was linked with the Hammers back in 2018, before he chose Lazio instead.
Everton, meanwhile, have released Joshua King following the end of his contract, leaving a space for an extra attacker. Correa could fill that gap and should be able to contribute more than the Norwegian did in his short spell.
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