Barcelona striker Martin Braithwaite is in talks with Premier League side West Ham United over a €20 million ($23.5m) summer move.
The Denmark international only arrived in February on an emergency transfer, but Barcelona are now in “advanced talks” with the Hammers for the 29-year-old, according to Miguel Rico at Mundo Deportivo.
Barcelona paid €18m to activate Braithwaite’s buyout clause and bring him in from Leganes outside of the transfer window. The Catalan giants were given permission from the RFEF to make the emergency signing following injuries to Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.
Braithwaite made a bright start to life at the Camp Nou before the season was paused for three months due to Covid-19. The striker struggled for game time after lockdown as Suarez returned from injury and went straight back into the team.
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Barcelona Keen to Sell
Barcelona are keen to offload some of their squad this summer as their transfer budget has been affected by the coronavirus crisis. The club must buy before they can bring in any new players, according to Sport’s Lluis Miguelsanz.
Braithwaite is just one of several players who could wave goodbye to the Camp Nou this summer. Miguelsanz reports that Jean-Clair Todibo, Rafinha, and Philippe Coutinho also “have offers to continue their careers in England.”
Barcelona would also be willing to sell Junior Firpo, Ivan Rakitic, Samuel Umtiti, Nelson Semedo and Ousmane Dembele if the right offer arrived and could be set for a busy summer in the transfer market.
West Ham Need Strengthening
West Ham look in need of strengthening after a tough Premier League season which saw them finish in 16th place, just five points off the relegation zone.
Michail Antonio was the team’s top scorer in 2019-20 with 10 Premier League goals, although six of those came in West Ham’s final three games of the season.
Braithwaite has previously insisted he wants to stay at Barcelona and see out his contract at the Camp Nou in an interview with ESPN’s Sam Marsden.
“I am sure I am going to stay even more than four-and-a-half years that’s how I see it in my head. Right now, I just want to go and play and enjoy and win titles with this team because that’s what I am here to do.”
Yet he’s likely to continue to struggle for game time if he stays at Barcelona and may be on his way after less than six months at the Camp Nou. A return to the England could tempt Braithwaite who spent two years with Middlesbrough prior to his move to Spain.