PAOK Saloniki of Greece striker, Chuba Akpom has entered January transfer links with West Ham United of England, Stade Reims of France and FC Cologne of Germany, with all three clubs said to be in the hunt for his signature, megasportsarena.com reports.
West Ham, though, look better placed to hook Akpom, as The Hammers provide him the choice opportunity of a return to London, where he once toiled spiritedly in the youth ranks of Arsenal, until he opted to make the move to PAOK early last year.
However, having settled well in Greece and looking on top of his game, Akpom appears keen on a return to England, such that West Ham have smartly moved quickly in order to outdo equally interested Reims and Cologne in hooking the Nigerian-born attacker.
Having identified Akpom as the lad that can help them rain goals that will lift the team from their current lowly 13th position in the EPL, The Hammers aim to lutre him all the way, as an addition to their duo of summer signings, Sebastien Haller and Albian Ajeti.
However, additional information reveals that Akpom iks also attraction attention from Celtic of Scotland, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray of Turkey, Fiorentina of Italy, Werder Bremen of Germany as well as OGC Nice and Stade Rennes, who are all said to be considering a move but the striker.
All this, though, comes amidst feelers that Akpom, who is being considered for a future with the Super Eagles, would prefer a return to England, even as several scouts were in the stands at his team’s home ground, Stadio Georgios Karaiskáki to watch them battle Olympiakos in the Greek Super League on Tuesday night.
Turkish Super League giants, Besiktas and Fenerbahce were also in attendance for the game that also attracted Borussia Dortmund of Germany, Stade Rennes of France and AS Torino of Italy to The Great Greek Derby.
Before then, another report by Thema Sports claimed that Manchester United and Manchester City were in Piraeus on Sunday to watch Akpom in action, as he got off the bench in the 66th minutes for his tenth appearance of the season.
It marks the continuation of the rising stock for Akpom, who earlier helped PAOK lift the Super League and Greek Cup for the first time in 34 years after they went undefeated last season, but he has started just three league games this term.
Although he scored twice within the limited playing time he has seen thus far this season, Akpom appears disillusioned and is set to reject a new contract offer from the Thessaloniki-based side, as now has departure on his mind.
That has alerted West Ham on the possibility of taking him back to England, and The Athletic reports that The Hammers have enquired about his availability to make the move next konth, in order to get a change of scene from where he has made just three starts from a possible 12.
It would be a win-win situation for player and club, as West Ham are toying with relegation, their gaffer, Manuel Pellegrini is facing the sack and their fans are calling for a change in fortune, but Haller has failed to score in his last six games and Ajeti is yet to score after six matches.
It is now left to be seen how West Ham will outbid Reims and Cologne, who are also interested in a move for the Hale End Academy product, where Akpom shot to prominence and eventually toiled with Arsenal for 16 years before sealing a switch to PAOK in the summer of 2018.