Michail Antonio is unlikely to join Wolves in the January transfer window as West Ham do not want to strengthen their rivals, Pete O’Rourke has claimed.
What’s the word?
The striker has been linked with a move away from West Ham, as the arrival of Gianluca Scamacca in the summer window meant he was relegated from the starting XI.
A deal has now been struck to sign Danny Ings from Aston Villa, which could further limit Antonio’s minutes, but the 32-year-old may not leave the Hammers in January as they face a relegation battle.
Would Antonio improve Wolves’ frontline?
Speaking to Football FanCast, O’Rourke claimed that West Ham’s precarious position means that they will be unlikely to help out a rival near the bottom of the table.
He said: “It would be a surprise signing, because obviously, we know West Ham and Wolves are both involved in this relegation battle, so I’m not sure West Ham would want to strengthen one of their relegation rivals as well.”
A necessary addition?
Given that Wolves have brought in Diego Costa and Matheus Cunha in recent months, in addition to having Raul Jimenez and Goncalo Guedes capable of playing through the middle, Antonio would be joining an already stacked squad in his position – albeit in an area the Old Gold are underperforming, as Julen Lopetegui’s side remain the lowest goalscorer in the Premier League.
Whilst bringing in a Premier League-proven striker could be of some benefit, he may not be necessary given the current options at the club, and signing an ageing player could mean he becomes deadwood before too long.
Meanwhile, given West Ham have domestic and European games to contend with this season, it looks highly unlikely that they will purposefully weaken themselves ahead of an important few months for the club.
The fact a relegation rival could directly benefit does indeed suggest it would be an act of self-sabotage if the Hammers were to sanction such a move, so we totally understand O’Rourke’s scepticism to the rumours.