Inside Football: West Ham Line Up New Move for Anthony Modeste

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportApril 13, 2017

Inside Football: West Ham Line Up New Move for Anthony Modeste

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    Anthony Modeste is up with Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the Bundesliga goal charts, so no surprise then that he is wanted in the Premier League.

    He spent a brief, unsuccessful stint with Blackburn Rovers in 2012, but now that he's flourishing, it will not be long before he is back.

    Cologne realise they face a fight to hold onto the 28-year-old French forward, and below I detail how West Ham United are ready to step up their bid to take him to London.

    I also have news from Holland, where 17-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax is being watched by a host of top teams. And three Serie A clubs have an eye on Marten de Roon of Middlesbrough...just nine months after he left Atalanta.

Modeste Heading to London?

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    West Ham are hoping to strike third time lucky when it comes to landing Modeste this summer.

    The Hammers have endured a tough first season at London Stadium, largely due to the fact they failed to recruit adequately in the forward positions at the beginning of the season.

    Their net was cast far and wide, with a host of elite names on the list. Ultimately, they failed with almost every option.

    Modeste was one of the men they attempted to sign—first in the summer, then again in the January window. I am told boss Slaven Bilic, who is being assured he will remain in charge, will again look to get him at the end of this season.

    Modeste, 28, has played in the Premier League before with Blackburn but has really started to make headlines in Germany this term.

    His form was profiled in detail by B/R's Andy Brassell here as part of a piece on Europe's under-the-radar goal-getters, but he is certainly now in-demand. Other English clubs are beginning to show interest too, as West Bromwich Albion, Stoke and Burnley have all checked on Modeste in recent weeks.

    West Ham are prioritising a new forward in the summer window and have also sent staff to continue scouting efforts on Cenk Tosun, the 25-year-old Besiktas forward.

Europe's Elite Chase Ajax Kid

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    Europe's elite are beginning to pay close attention to Ajax's teenage sensation Matthijs de Ligt.

    The 17-year-old defender is being tipped to become one of the best defenders in Europe after an impressive breakthrough in Eredivisie.

    Almost every top English club are on his tail, with both Manchester clubs as well as Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea sending scouts to get a close-up look. I am told that Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have also made enquiries about him.

    Centre-half De Ligt is comfortable with both feet and is showing maturity beyond his years with a fantastic reading of the game.

    His confident style of play led to an international debut last month as he started for Holland in a 2-0 defeat to Bulgaria.

    A source close to De Ligt revealed: "This kid is one of those players who does not come along too often, but every club in Europe already knows about him. He is happy at Ajax, but when he does leave he will have his pick of clubs."

Napoli Want Boro Midfielder

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    Boro are in serious danger of relegation, and as a result De Roon already looks to be on his way back to Italy.

    The 26-year-old midfield player joined for £12 million from Atalanta in the summer and has done well, becoming a full Dutch international this season.

    However, with Boro looking doomed, I understand the player's representatives have begun sounding out potential options for their client.

    Napoli have expressed an interest—having held talks about him before his move to England—while AC Milan and Fiorentina have also stated a desire to be kept informed.

    Premier League sides have also taken notice of his performances with Bournemouth, Watford and Southampton among those monitoring the situation.

    But Italy looks the most likely destination for him this summer. De Roon is one of Boro's highest earners, and the club would ideally shed his sizeable wage packet before heading into the Championship.