Exclusive – West Ham have stepped up their pursuit of highly-rated teenage striker Adam Hlozek, amid significant interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
The 18-year-old is fast becoming one of the most sought after young players in Europe, and is an outside bet to feature at this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 having already made his full international debut for the Czech Republic.
90min first revealed in January that West Ham were considering a bid for Hlozek, and their interest has further intensified as the club look to strengthen their attacking options ahead of a potential European adventure next season.
One stumbling block is that the Hammers are not alone in their pursuit of Hlozek, with strong interest being shown from a number of continental giants. Bayern Munich and Juventus are admirers, while Borussia Dortmund have also been monitoring Hlozek’s situation and consider him a potential long-term replacement for Erling Haaland.
West Ham do have one significant advantage in the race to sign Hlozek, though, as he’s a good friend of midfielder Tomas Soucek. The pair share the same agent, while fellow Czech international Vladimir Coufal is also on the books at the London Stadium and is widely regarded as one of the best Premier League signings of the 2020/21 season.
The fact that West Ham are on course to secure European football is understood to be key in Hlozek’s thinking, and a source has told 90min that he regards David Moyes’ side as a viable option because he wants to join a club where he will be playing regularly.
That’s not likely to be possible at Bayern or Juventus – who could even look to loan Hlozek out rather than letting him sit on the bench – while Dortmund are adamant that they won’t allow Haaland, their undisputed first choice striker, to leave this summer despite a raft of interest from Europe’s heaviest hitters.
In terms of Sparta’s asking price, the current financial issues within football – especially in Europe – have seen Hlozek’s valuation drop below €30m, which on the surface still seems like a significant amount of money to pay.
But his growing number of admirers from across Europe point to his high potential, and a possible arrival in east London would align with Moyes’ desire to target young, hungry players who have significant time to develop and improve.
For more from Toby Cudworth, follow him on Twitter!