West Ham have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of another Slavia Praha-based transfer target after a senior Slavia official denied reports linking the Hammers with a move for Abdallah Sima.
Sima has been a reported Irons target for some time, with the 19-year-old Senegalese breakout star quickly rising as one of the Czech side’s brightest prospects.
The striker has played a pivotal role in Slavia’s domestic and European campaigns, with the Prague-based side having already knocked out Leicester City in the Europa League Round of 32 – a knockout in which Sima scored.
The Senegalese striker has 11 goals and 4 assists in 14 league games, with a further 4 goals and an assist in just 8 European-level games this season.
Having already fostered a relationship with the club during the signings of Tomas Soucek and later, his compatriot in Vladimir Coufal, Sima has consequentially emerged as a long-term striking option for David Moyes’ side.
A previous report from the Mirror (Friday January 8th, Page 61) claimed that the 19-year-old Slavia Prague striker is the Hammers’ number one centre-forward target in the summer.
A separate source in Claret and Hugh recently claimed that West Ham have been told they will have to pay €40 million (£35 million) in order to secure Sima’s signature – a claim that has since been denied.
Slavia Prague president Jaroslav Tvrdik took to Twitter to refute the claims of Claret & Hugh:
Twitter: @WHUFC_News I’m sorry, but this report is not true. (@JaroslavTvrdik)
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Tvrdik’s rebuttal only adds further obfuscation to the Sima saga.
Question marks remain over the price tag of Sima or indeed whether West Ham’s interest is as ardent as is being depicted in the press.
Regardless, the teenager remains one of Europe’s rising talents and looks increasingly set for a major move if his prolific form continues its insurmountable run.
West Ham could take worse risks in recruiting such a raw talent.