West Ham United have submitted a formal £4.5million bid for Basel striker Albian Ajeti, according to Football Insider.
The outlet claims that the 22-year-old is the subject of an approach from the Hammers, but that it was knocked back by the Swiss heavyweights.
Basel are holding out for a fee of £8million for the Switzerland international, although Manuel Pellegrini’s preference is a loan deal with an option to buy.
The east London outfit have been scouting Ajeti for the past 12 months, including watching the three games he has played for Basel so far this season.
Ajeti is clearly a natural goalscorer, but it remains very much to be seen whether’s got the ability to make the step up from Swiss football to the Premier League. He’s bagged 43 goals and registered 21 assists in 96 games for Basel [Source: Transfermarkt], which is a terrific tally. However, he’s yet to score a Champions League goal for the club, although he has bagged twice in five qualifying games for the tournament. Clearly West Ham are keen to bring in another striker to support Sebastien Haller and Javier Hernandez, because beyond that senior duo you have only youngster Xande Silva as back up in attack. That’s simply not enough for an ambitious Premier League side, even if Michail Antonio can operate in attack as well. However, the main takeaway from this story is that the two teams’ are £3.5million apart in their valuation of the player. Whether the Hammers are ready to up their bid to that amount is unknown at this time, because it’s understood that their transfer budget is almost empty.