West Ham United are showing “strong” interest in Fortuna Düsseldorf midfielder Ao Tanaka, according to The Telegraph.
It’s believed the Japan World Cup star is set for a move to the Premier League and that Fulham are also showing interest (The Telegraph, 20 June).
Leicester are aware of Tanaka’s availability and West Brom saw a bid rejected in the January transfer window.
The 24-year-old scored a controversial goal that knocked Spain out of the 2022 Qatar World Cup after a VAR review.
The Hammers need a plethora of options in midfield next season.
With Declan Rice almost certain to move on during the summer window, it’s absolutely essential for David Moyes and the board to focus on the centre of the pitch.
Realistically, replacing the 24-year-old will be impossible. There are very few players who can operate at his level in world football. Therefore, Moyes should be looking to add two or three midfielders to soften the blow of Rice’s departure.
Tanaka has clearly emerged as one. Fulham’s João Palhinha is another who is on the Scot’s radar – although his £90million price tag will put a number of interested parties off.
West Ham cannot head into the new season with a midfield of Tomas Soucek and Flynn Downes – It’s a recipe for disaster. Depth is required and looking to land at least two replacements for Rice is the smart move from the board at present.
The sooner his move to Arsenal is done and dusted the better for all involved.