West Ham United are eyeing a move for Le Havre youngster Etienne Kinkoue ahead of the winter transfer deadline on Thursday, according to The Sun.
The Hammers are looking to bolster their squad as they aim to ascend from their sixth position in the Premier League standings. West Ham are also making strides in the continental stages having qualified to the round of 16 in the Europa League, defeating Kinkou’s former club, Olympiacos in the process.
They have already completed the signing of Kalvin Philips from Manchester City on loan and are now looking to reinforce their defence with a move for Kinkoue.
The highly-rated young talent began to attract attention in 2019 when he joined Inter Milan’s youth setup from Troyes, amassing 48 appearances for the Under-19s. His impressive performances at Inter even earned him opportunities to train with the first team, then managed by former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur head coach Antonio Conte.
Despite his time at Inter, first-team chances remained limited and he was sold to Olympiacos B team before lack of opportunities also prompted the 22-year-old to seek a move away. This led to a significant transfer to Ligue 1 side Le Havre in January last year.
His contributions were instrumental in Luka Elsner’s team securing promotion to the French top flight last season. Although he initially spent time on the bench, Kinkoue has recently cemented a starting role, featuring in the starting lineup for 10 out of the last 13 league matches, completing the full 90 minutes each time.
West Ham face stiff competition from Eintracht Frankfurt and Red Bull Salzburg for the 22-year-old, and The Sun reveals that David Moyes’ side are “pushing hard” to recoup the former Inter Milan prodigy before the transfer deadline on Thursday.
Having agreed to a £15m fee to sell Said Benrahma, West Ham could have the funds to acquire the signature of Kinkoue who is valued at £10m.
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