West Ham United are mulling over a January move for Argentina international Lucas Pratto.
The 28-year-old centre forward is currently plying his trade for Atlético Mineiro and has recently broken into Edgardo Bauza’s national side but has admitted that with the Brazilian league finished, a move to Europe in 2017 beckons.
Sevilla and AC Milan have both been strongly linked to Pratto but with West Ham struggling over the first half of the Premier League season and lacking a regular goal scoring forward, reports in the British press suggest a January move.
The Daily Mail report that West Ham have been offered Pratto through their contacts in South America and have been made aware of the striker’s availability for around £12 million.
Something of a late bloomer, Pratto spent many of the early years in his career out on loan but was outstanding when he returned to Argentina to play for Vélez Sarsfield. The former Boca Juniors youth player’s goals, tireless workrate and ability to bring his teammates into play helped El Fortín to the title and it wasn’t long before another shot at Europe, following a failed switch to Genoa, was being touted.
Atlético Mineiro eventually took Pratto to Brazil for $5 million but there was no dip in his form and although no league title followed, El Oso was named the best foreign player in the 2015 Brasileirão.
This form and Argentina’s appointment of Edgardo Bauza, a coach who watched Pratto closely in Brazil as manager of São Paulo, saw the 28-year-old make his international debut in August 2016. Seemlessly stepping up to this level, Pratto scored in the recent World Cup qualifier against Colombia and is now seeking a move to test himself in Europe.
West Ham will have been disappointed with the summer signing Jonathan Calleri and can rarely depend on the fitness of Andy Carroll so Pratto would certainly seem like a useful option for Slaven Bilic.