Hammers Eye Lyon Trickster Transfer

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West Ham United are interested in signing highly-rated Olympique Lyon forward Rayan Cherki, but face stiff competition from French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

The 20-year-old is considered one of the brightest young talents in Ligue 1, and his dazzling displays have attracted the attention of several top clubs. According to reports, West Ham “highly appreciate his profile” but haven’t yet tabled a formal offer.

Ironicaly, Cherki was ousted from the Lyon team last season when Said Benrahma moved from West Ham to Lyon, prompting their surge up the league table. He was a player who was highly coveted as a youngster and it’s fair to say that his rise has not been as quick as many predicted. However, his skill and trickery are not in doubt.

Cherki bagged three goals and nine assists in 39 appearances across all competitions. The Frenchman averaged 2.5 dribbles per 90 minutes with a 63% success rate.

He also created five big chances and won 51% of his ground duels while averaging 1.3 key passes and three ball recoveries per match courtesy of whoscored).

PSG are currently at the forefront of the chase, having already submitted a bid that fell short of Lyon’s valuation. The French champions are hoping to leverage Cherki’s contract situation, which enters its final year this summer, to secure him for a bargain price. Lyon, however, are determined to recoup a significant fee for their academy product and are playing hardball over a new contract extension.

While Cherki’s reluctance to accept a pay cut in Lyon’s proposed deal could open the door for West Ham, the Hammers lack of Champions League or Europa League football this season might be a major drawback. Cherki is known to be ambitious, and playing in Europe is believed to be a key factor in his decision.

West Ham boss Julen Lopertgui will need to weigh up the challenges of convincing Cherki and Lyon before launching a serious bid for the talented forward. Signing Cherki would be a major statement of intent for the Hammers, but they face an uphill battle to secure his services .

It does all sound a bit speculative though, typical of the transfer “funny” season.

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