Braga forward Simon Banza eyed by West Ham United

West Ham United are considering making a summer move for SC Braga forward Simon Banza as they look to bolster their squad ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

Simon Banza

Simon Banza, 27, has become one of the hottest names in this year’s top flight in Portugal with 21 strikes and four assists in 27 appearances for Braga. The eight-cap DR Congo international has scored an impressive 37 goals in 87 games for the Portuguese side since initially arriving on loan in 2021, a goalscoring record that hasn’t gone unnoticed across the continent.

There is a growing list of clubs interested in signing the in-form 27-year-old forward. West Ham have reportedly set their sights on Banza, who has a release clause worth €25 million in his contract that runs until 2027. The player has also drawn interest in Serie A where Fiorentina and AS Roma are understood to be monitoring his progress.

Simon Banza on West Ham’s radar

West Ham have been linked with a host of players including Simon Banza amidst a managerial change. Although he hasn’t been officially announced as the new head coach at the club, it is understood to be only a matter of time before Julen Lopetegui replaces David Moyes.

Julen Lopetegui will inherit an exciting squad of players but one that needs upgrades in a few key areas of the pitch. One of those is the striker department, with Michail Antonio and Danny Ings well into their 30s and showing signs of slowing down. Both the strikers have performed way below expectations in the goalscoring area, with Antonio spending chunks of the campaign on the sidelines.

If it weren’t for the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus chipping in with goals and assists consistently, then it is likely the Irons would be lying somewhere in the bottom half of the table. With Lopetegui’s fresh ideas, dynamic approach and playing style, it is hoped that West Ham could compete for a European spot again next term.

Nonetheless, signing a new striker in the summer transfer window would be vital. Braga star Simon Banza has emerged as a target for the Hammers in recent days. The 27-year-old is a proven scorer in the Portuguese top flight and has also demonstrated his talent on the biggest stage with an assist against Real Madrid in the Champions League. With 21 goals in 27 league appearances this season, the Congolese is a highly sought-after commodity heading into next month’s transfer window.

With his value protected by a €25 million release clause, the signing of Banza could be one of the key deals that West Ham complete this summer.

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