Premier League Rivals Join Race To Hijack Potential Liverpool Target
West Ham will make a January swoop for Sassoulo striker Gregoire Defrel, as Slaven Bilic attempts to bolster his toothless attack.
Providing he does not lose West Ham’s next two home games against Burnley and Hull, Bilic looks set to survive as manager.
And plans are already being made for recruitment in January, with Frenchman Defrel emerging as a major target.
The 25-year-old French star is under contract at the Serie A club until 2020, but both Liverpool and West Ham have had scouts watching the former Parma and Cesena striker, who could cost as much as £20million.
Defrel joined Sassuolo in the summer of 2015 and has scored seven goals for the club this season.
He arrived at the club as a replacement for Simone Zaza, who had moved to Juventus.
Zaza is now at the London Stadium on loan with West Ham until the end of the season – but he is yet to score for his new club.
Liverpool could scrap Daniel Sturridge in January with Southampton interested in the England striker.
And that would leave manager Jurgen Klopp with a space to fill in his front line.
The 25-year-old Frenchman was also a target for Arsenal during the summer, and even a reported £11m bid was rejected.
Defrel has spent all of his career in Italy to date, having joined Parma in 2009.
He moved to Cesena three years later, and helped them gain promotion to Serie B, then signing for Sassuolo in 2015.
Klopp is aiming for a top-four finish this season, and may rely on Defrel’s help to secure that next year.
It is not just up front that Defrel can be deployed. He is also a very capable winger or attacking midfielder, and players in that position have seemingly always appealed to Liverpool boss, even if that does not appear to be the area of the pitch that the squad needs strengthening in.
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