A report in yesterday’s Guardian suggests that whilst West Ham are putting their foot down over Manchester United’s supposed plan to lure Marko Arnautovic away from The London Stadium, they would be open to the idea of selling winger Michail Antonio, if the price was right.
Crystal Palace have already been linked with the former Nottingham Forest man once in this transfer window and whilst a formal offer is still yet to be lodged, this apparent softening in West Ham’s stance could be all the encouragement those behind the scenes need to press ahead with a bid.
Whilst the Eagles already have Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha operating on the flanks, the uncertainty surrounding Bakary Sako’s immediate future, coupled with a lack of other feasible options in wide areas was always likely to lead Roy Hodgson into the transfer market this summer, with Antonio obviously looked upon as an ideal reinforcement to the Eagles already dangerous attacking line.
Known well to Palace’s Sporting Director Dougie Freedman thanks to the time the pair spent together at Forest, Michail is unlikely to be dead set against a move to Selhurst Park, having been born in Wandsworth and begun his career at local non-league side Tooting & Mitcham. With such a connection already in place and Palace having been linked with a move for a few weeks, we may well see some movement in the not too distant future.
Although no summer incomings have yet been finalised in SE25 (other than the pre-contract agreement with Getafe goalkeeper Vicente Guaita) it’s pretty obvious, given the players we’re being consistently linked with, that Roy Hodgson and his coaching staff are keen to add to the pace and power we already have going forward in preparation for the new campaign.
We may or may not be able to work out the finer details of a deal for Antonio during this window but our intentions are clear and I for one am extremely happy about the direction the gaffer is looking to take the team in.