FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk v FC Sevilla - UEFA Europa League Final

Last season’s EPL surprise winners, Leicester City have inspired the likes of West Ham, Southampton and other top 8 finishing sides in the league as the new season unfolds. New stadium owner, West Ham finished in 7th place and will be participating in the Europa League as a result. Their coach, Slaven Bilic also wants to contest for the title and is making bids in order to do so effectively. The striking position is of utmost importance to the Croatian tactician, and he has listed Romelu Lukaku and Carlos Bacca as top targets to be enlisted for the roles. Out of favour strikers, Diafra Sakho and Valencia aren’t guaranteed of starting berths next season and they could be on their way out as a result.

Replacements are being considered in the aforementioned players, but Lukaku’s £65million price tag however seems to be a major turndown for the Hammers, and it could hamper their chances of securing the services of the hotcake Everton striker. Having revealed his interest to play in the Champions League, the Europa League West Ham are offering next season might also be another stumbling in his pursuit. New Everton’s manager, Ronald Koeman who led Southampton to a 6th place finish last term wants to keep the Belgium hitman in order to lead the Goodison Park to glory next season and they are trying all they can to shun off every interests suitors have in him.

With that reality, the Olympic Stadium outfit are focusing more on landing Colombia and AC Milan striker, Bacca after both clubs agreed on a £26million bid for the 29-year-old. Only personal terms are left to be sorted out and both the club and the player’s representatives are finalizing that, with the possibility of a deal likely to be agreed upon this week. The club’s chairman, David Sullivan wants to wrap up things early and the player himself is said to desire a move to the club. Having failed to land the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Michy Batshuayi and Carlos Tevez, who rejected a deal that would have seen him earn £150,000 a week, all attentions are now placed on the former Sevilla talisman who won back to back Europa League titles with the Spanish club. His experience at the European competition will also come handy for West Ham.

In the defence department, the club hopes to recruit former Arsenal defender, Thomas Vermaelen after it emerged that the Belgium international has been seen as surplus to requirements at Barcelona. The defender has only spent 2 seasons at Camp Nou but a better part of it has been spent injured and on the bench. He won’t be part of Barcelona’s pre-season that starts next Tuesday and the want-away veteran will be available for suitors for as little as £8.3million. Vermaelen himself is eyeing a return to London in order to fulfill his family wishes of living in the city once again, and despite being courted by Roma and Besiktas, West Ham’s willingness to also meet his wages demand make it a more appealing option.

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Paul Koroma

I learned all about life with a ball at my feet. Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train. I play, and I repeat every single day.

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