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West Ham jump ahead of many others in targeting Chelsea striker Armando Broja — reports

Look but don’t touch

Southampton Training Session Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images

Armando Broja had an ... okay ... season on loan at Southampton, with nine goals to his name in all competitions, but given his age (turns 21 in September) and his play beyond just goals and assists at the highest level, he’s still attracting plenty of attention in the transfer market, and rightly so. Southampton knew this would happen as well, which is why they tried to push a transfer through starting in January, but we rejected them then, and now there’s plenty of competition for the Academy product’s favor.

Of course, all that is assuming that we would consider letting him go, which seems far from certain, especially if Romelu Lukaku leaves, which seems all but certain. But if we were to let Broja go, which probably would be unwise — or if he wanted to leave already, which would be sad — there would be absolutely no shortage of suitors for his signature.

Leading the pack appear to be West Ham United, who may or may not be readying a £25-30m bid that they’ve been rumored to be readying for a couple months now. Gianluca Di Marzio (not sure why he would be leading the way on this rumor) claims that negotiations are “ongoing” but an agreement is “not reached” and in fact it is “not close”. Sounds like those negotiations are not going on at all.

Sources closer to home strike a more careful note, which is probably closer to the actual truth of the situation.

Beyond West Ham, Broja has been linked with the likes of Nottingham Forest (£35m rumored), Everton (Super Frankie Lampard loves them Chelsea prospects; see also: Conor Gallagher, Billy Gilmour), Newcastle (get linked with everyone these days), plus Inter Milan and Napoli because why not. There’s a growing exclave of Chelsea in Serie A already.

All that said, even if Broja does end up leaving Chelsea this summer, whether on loan for the third time, or for good the first time, that’s unlikely to happen before preseason — both because we seem to be moving relatively slow in the market, and also because Thomas Tuchel wants to make at least a cursory assessment obviously. That doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome for us, but given our staunch refusal of Southampton earlier this year, it doesn’t look like we’re all that willing to (easily) give up Broja just yet.

(Also, let’s not do any favors for any rivals big or small, Todd.)