Hammers in fresh link to former striker target

West Ham United
West Ham have been linked with Atalanta’s red-hot Colombian striker Duvan Zapata for a second time this year.

West Ham have been linked with Atalanta’s red-hot Colombian striker Duvan Zapata for a second time this year.

Calciomercato claim the Hammers and Manchester United are both interested in the 28-year-old hitman, who scored 23 Serie A goals last term.

Last summer, Atalanta owners the Percassi family rejected a number of serious bids for Zapata, who was said to be valued at 40m euros.

West Ham were understood to be interested as they looked to beef up their attack – but that was before the signing of Sebastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt.

West Ham actually first became interested in him in 2013 when he would have come much cheaper from Argentine club Estudiantes.

He had just starred for the Colombia U20s at the Toulon tournament and had bagged 14 goals in 23 games for his club.

The Hammers had a £6.7million offer accepted and appealed to the Home Office to grant him a work permit because he was a ‘special talent’ after an initial application was rejected.

But two weeks after the bid went in, Jack Sullivan tweeted that the club had decided against signing the Colombian.

His father, co-chairman David Sullivan, said: “He’s not played a single international and our problem is that we couldn’t wait a month so see if we could get a work permit, as we need players now.

“He’s not 18, he’s 22 without a single full international and it’s hard to see how you could bring him under the special talent rule.”

He moved to Napoli for a similar fee and from there was loaned to Udinese and Sampdoria.

But after five and a half seasons in Serie A, he now seems to be in the form of his life after helping La Dea finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League last season.

Zapata is still owned by Sampdoria but loan club Atalanta have the right to purchase him so they would be the club any potential buyer would need to negotiate with.

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