The inspired West Ham-Serie A swap transfer deal that would solve two huge problems

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The Hammers are understood to be in the market for a new striker this summer

There’s no use pussyfooting around it, West Ham want rid of Kurt Zouma. Then again, where Zouma is concerned, pussyfooting usually does involve something getting the boot. According to a report from TEAMtalk, new manager Julen Lopetegui has deemed the Hammers captain surplus to requirements, and is quite content to see him transfer listed this summer.

The situation is complicated - or made simpler, depending on how you look at it - by the fact that Zouma has just one year left on his contract in East London, and after having expressed doubts about his future at the London Stadium, it is understood that the Irons have decided to cash in rather than losing him on a free next year.

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Elsewhere, in other West Ham-adjacent transfer news, the Hammers are understood to be considering a swoop to lure Tammy Abraham back to the Premier League. The English striker is currently on the books at AS Roma, but according to Gazzetta, is not expected to extend his stay in the Italian capital beyond this summer, and could be available for around £25 million - although that figure could ultimately drop to as little as £18.5 million depending on how eager Roma are to clear some space on their wage bill.

Alongside the Hammers, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur are also credited with an interest, with the Villans said to be pushing the harder of the two to reach an agreement. For West Ham’s part, the acquisition of a new striker is expected to a priority over the coming weeks as they seek to find a suitable replacement for the veteran Michail Antonio.

But perhaps there is a way that they could kill two birds with one stone here. A quick look at AS Roma’s squad shows that they currently have five senior centre-backs on their books. Of that contingent, Dean Huijsen and Diego Llorente are on loan from Juventus and Leeds United respectively, while Chris Smalling is rapidly approaching the twilight of his career at the age of 34. Marash Kumbulla is set to return from a temporary stint at Sassuolo, granted, but the Albanian international is coming off the back of a lengthy absence due to an ACL injury, and you suspect that further reinforcements at the heart of defence wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.

To that end, why not offer up Zouma as a makeweight in any prospective deal for Abraham? At 29, the French international still has plenty of gas left in the proverbial tank, and would provide both cover and competition for a side who could really use both in a key area of the field.

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If a swap, presumably with some added cash incentive from West Ham’s side, could be engineered then the Hammers could save themselves a decent chunk of money while still bringing in the top tier centre forward they so desperately need. Things rarely work out with such serendipity in professional football, but at the very least, this could be an avenue worth considering.

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