West Ham have agreed a £38.2million deal to sign Mohammed Kudus from Ajax after technical director Tim Steidten flew to Bulgaria on Thursday to thrash out the final details of the transfer. Talks have rumbled on for the past week and despite recent scepticism from Dutch sources, the Hammers have now struck gold after tying up negotiations with their Amsterdam counterparts as Kudus prepares to undergo a medical on Saturday.
West Ham previously failed with two bids for the Ghana international but their third offer has not satisfied Ajax’s valuation of their highly-rated attacker.
There was an element of surprise on Thursday evening when Kudus was named in Ajax’s starting lineup for their Europa League qualifier against Ludogorets.
Somewhat fittingly, Kudus fired a hat-trick before later stating that he believed it was his final game for the club ahead of a transfer.
When asked how much he would miss Ajax if he was to complete the move, Kudus said: “I will answer that when everything is official.”
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Now an agreement worth an initial £35.6m plus £2.6m in add-ons has been finalised and Kudus is set to be formally unveiled as West Ham’s fourth summer signing in the coming days.
Saturday’s Premier League clash with Brighton, who also had a bid accepted for Kudus earlier in the window, will come too soon for West Ham’s imminent new signing, however.
Instead, he could be poised to make his debut next Friday when the Hammers travel to Premier League new boys Luton Town.
Despite friction between West Ham’s transfer committee earlier in the window, credit must go to influential technical director Steidten, who has played an integral role in recent transfer business.
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Although West Ham experienced a long wait for summer signings following the club-record sale of Declan Rice, the Irons have undoubtedly improved their squad in a convincing manner.
James Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez have strengthened their midfield department while Konstantinos Mavropanos looks a fine fit for David Moyes’ physical-style of football.
Now Kudus will add X-factor in attack with the 23-year-old set to sign a five-year contract in east London with the option for an additional 12 months.
The likes of Chelsea and Arsenal have also shown interest in Kudus but West Ham have now beaten rivals to the punch, although they have had a free run at the player in recent weeks.
However, the longer the window rumbled on there was every chance one of those clubs may have formalised their interest by launching a late move.
We could still see further movement at West Ham in the market with another striker still potentially of interest alongside a left-back and right-back if Ben Johnson leaves the club. Ian Maatsen of Chelsea is one target of interest.
The Hammers have explored a move for long-standing target Youssef En-Nesyri with Sevilla currently experiencing financial trouble off the field.
Kudus has effectively replaced Gianluca Scamacca following the Italian’s move to Italy but he can also operate in wide areas or additionally as a No.10.
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