West Ham’s pursuit of another striker ahead of next season has suffered a blow as Sunderland are refusing to sell Connor Wickham for less than £8 million, reports the Telegraph. The former Ipswich man is on Sam Allardyce’s radar as he searches for an Andy Carroll replacement.
Wickham belatedly announced himself onto the Premier League stage in the latter weeks of last season, scoring some vital goals in Sunderland’s miracle escape from the relegation zone. At Ipswich he had emerged as one of the England’s most promising young forwards. He has taken a little longer than expected to flourish at Sunderland, but announced himself as a very talented striker after the Christmas period last year.
West Ham have already made a formal approach for Wickham, but the £5 million offer was immediately knocked back by the Black Cats as too low. Gus Poyet and the Stadium of Light are looking for £8 million, which could be a figure that West Ham are not prepared to pay.
Wickham is about to enter into the last year of his current contract at Sunderland, and the Hammers had hoped that he would become available for a reduced fee as a result. The £8 million valuation means that the player is still within the realms of affordability, but he is not as cheap as the East London side had hoped he would be.