West Ham’s hunt for new striker could seal Sunderland move for Diafra Sakho

Diafra Sakho
Diafra Sakho

A big-money West Ham move for striker Alexandre Lacazette could push Sunderland closer to landing fellow frontman Diafra Sakho.

Sam Allardyce sees an addition to his forward line as one of five main priorities for Sunderland this summer, with Player of the Year Jermain Defoe currently the only hitman at his disposal.

Sakho has emerged as one of Sunderland’s main targets to boost their striking options, with the Black Cats in discussions with West Ham over a fee for the 26-year-old, signed by ex-Hammers boss Allardyce in a £3.5million deal two years ago.

Sunderland would have to get close to their transfer record to land Sakho, who is valued around the £15m mark by West Ham, yet there were widespread reports yesterday that he is keen to move on this summer with his opportunities next season likely to be limited.

Sakho reportedly spoke with manager Slaven Bilic over the weekend to make it clear that he wants to leave after netting 19 goals in 49 games for the Hammers.

Ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium, West Ham are keen to bring in a big-money frontman, with reports on the Continent yesterday suggesting that they have submitted a £32m offer for Lyon frontman Lacazette.

That fits with co-chairman David Sullivan’s statement last month that the Hammers need to spend big if they are to land a prolific striker.

“We need a 20-goal-a-season striker and that will cost us £25m or £30m,” he said.

If Sunderland can land the ex-Metz man, it is unlikely to spell the end of their interest in Swansea’s Andre Ayew either, with Allardyce also keen to add a winger to his ranks.

But Allardyce publicly confirmed at the end of last season that he wanted another striker, with out-of-contract pair Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher leaving the club in January, and loanee Dame N’Doye’s time at the Stadium of Light concluding.

N’Doye is owned by Turkish side Trabzonspor, but they are keen to offload the Senegalese striker to make way for new summer recruits.

The 31-year-old has been offered as a makeweight in a swap deal for Spartak Moscow’s Serdar Tasci, although that proposal has been rejected by the Russian club.

But while Trabzonspor continue their efforts to offload N’Doye – who netted just once in 11 appearances for Sunderland after his arrival in January – they are reportedly keen to bring in fellow ex-Black Cats loanee Toivonen.

The Swedish international barely impressed during his season-long stint from Rennes and failed to appear under Sam Allardyce during the final three months of the season.

There was never any prospect of Sunderland signing the 29-year-old permanently, while he equally has no future at Rennes, who are keen to remove his sizeable wages from the club’s books.

But there have been reports in Turkey that Trabzonspor are keen on Toivonen, who has also been linked with a return to his homeland.