West Ham are facing competition from Manchester City and Manchester United for the signing of Hoffenheim youngster Ilay Elmkies, according to The Sun.
The newspaper claims in a live transfer blog [Thursday, 11pm] that any of the three clubs could attempt to sign the 19-year-old – who is said to be worth £2.5million – this summer, and that the Bundesliga club are ready to cash in to avoid losing him for a compensation fee next year.
Elmkies played for Hoffenheim’s Under-19s setup last season and recently signed a one-year deal which will see him promoted to the club’s second team.
At £2.5million, Elmkies could be an absolute bargain. He has been compared to Bayern Munich’s Thiago [The Sun], and given how impressive he has been for the German champions over the past few seasons, it’s a great starting point. As for where he could go, you would have to say that a move to West Ham would definitely benefit Elmkies more than going to the Etihad or Old Trafford, since he is guaranteed a better shot at first-team football at the London Stadium. While options are still limited – Mark Noble, Jack Wilshere and Declan Rice would all be ahead of him in the pecking order – he is more likely to force his way into the first team there than when competing against the likes of Kevin de Bruyne. And if his reputation is to be believed, there is every chance he could prove his worth at West Ham. For £2.5million, Elmkies is definitely worth the risk. If it doesn’t work out, so be it – that amount of money is not a significant outlay. But if it does work out, then the Hammers could be in for some serious profit.