West Ham United are scouring Europe for potential midfield transfer targets, 90min understands, and have been impressed by Eredivisie duo Edson Alvarez and Ibrahim Sangare.
The Hammers were one of the more active teams in the summer transfer window, adding the likes of Gianluca Scamacca, Lucas Paqueta, Thilo Kehrer and Emerson Palmieri to David Moyes’ previously threadbare squad en route to a net spend of just under £150m.
Central midfielder Flynn Downes was another addition to Moyes’ ranks, joining from Championship side Swansea, and the 23-year-old has impressed in his eight appearances to date – the majority of which have come in the Europa Conference League.
But there’s an awareness at West Ham that further reinforcements are needed in the heart of midfield, particularly as the long-term future of captain Declan Rice remains uncertain.
There’s also no immediate sign of a new contract for Tomas Soucek, one half of the club’s famed ‘Czech mates’, nearly six months after talks between the club and the player’s representatives were put on hold.
Rice and Soucek. coupled with Downes and Pablo Fornals, remain West Ham’s only real options in the middle of the park, with Paqueta and Manuel Lanzini far better suited to playing further forward behind a central striker.
90min understands that West Ham’s scouts have been out watching potential targets, and two players that have caught the eye in recent weeks have been Alvarez and Sangare – a result of an extended period of time spent watching games in the Netherlands.
25-year-old Alvarez, who will head to the 2022 World Cup with Mexico next month, was a target for Chelsea late on in the summer transfer window and has previously been watched by Manchester United, while Sangare has also been on the radar of a number of European clubs after impressing in his two years at PSV.
Sangare signed a new contract at PSV in the summer, committing his future to the club until 2027, but 90min has learned that the Ivory Coast international and Alvarez are keen to move to England if the right opportunity presents itself.
Whether or not that opportunity is with West Ham remains to be seen, although the pulling power of the Hammers – influenced by a second successive season of playing European football – was highlighted by the marquee signings of Scamacca and Paqueta over the summer.
Valencia’s Hugo Guillamon is another player West Ham are keeping tabs on, who like Alvarez is capable of playing in central defence or as a defensive midfielder.