Milan signed the striker from Sevilla last summer in a €30m deal but the Hammers are prepared to match that fee to bring him to London. With their Europa League campaign starting at the end of this month, Slaven Bilic is desperate to have all his transfer business completed to integrate new signings into the squad.
Delighted to qualify for Europe, the Croat is under pressure to make sure that West Ham don’t fall at the first hurdle. David Sullivan, the club’s co-owner, has been inspired by Leicester City’s success last season and recently declared the Hammers would be among the title contenders next season.
Bacca scored 20 goals in 42 games for the Italian giants last season but was unable to fire the former European champions back into the Champions League places. Newly appointed boss, Vincenzo Montella, is ready to sacrifice the Colombian as he oversees an overhaul of the fading squad.
With West Ham triggering the €30m release clause in Bacca’s contract, talks are expected to begin next week between the two clubs and agreement likely to be swiftly reached. Bacca has previously expressed a desire to remain in Italy but tellingly, didn’t rule out a move to the Premier League.
In the meantime, the opportunity to sign former Arsenal and Manchester United striker, Robin van Persie, 32, has been passed up. The Dutch striker has been put up for sale by Fenerbahce just a year after he joined from Old Trafford.
With a salary of £240,000 per week, the Hammers hierarchy viewed him as too expensive given his age. With a chequered injury past, they are unconvinced he can last the pace of a Premier League campaign.
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