West Ham hitman could be lured by big bucks deal with Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq
Michail Antonio, who almost quit Premier League side West Ham in January to join either Everton or Wolves, is a target for the lucrative Saudi Pro League. West Ham will be keen to cash in on the 33-year-old Jamaican international, whose contract expires at the end of the 2023/24 campaign, with a fee of £10m being touted.
Antonio, who failed to find the back of the net for the Reggae Boyz during this month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, would earn significantly more than his reported £85,000-a-week salary with the Hammers.
Facing the twilight years of his career, although very much part of Jamaica’s plans for the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals under head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, the London-born forward could strike it rich in the Saudi Pro League.
Steven Gerrard, the former Aston Villa and Rangers head coach, has taken over the helm at Al Ettifaq in Dammam. Last week he tempted England midfielder Jordan Henderson to the Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium, but now urgently requires a top notch striker before the new season kicks off on 14 August.
It appears to be a two-horse race for Gerrard to sign either Antonio or AC Milan’s Belgium forward Divock Origi, a former Liverpool star.
West Ham would find losing Antonio a big blow, as he is their leading top-flight scorer since 1992, having bagged 61 Premier League goals since joining the club eight years ago.
Antonio notched 14 goals across 48 games in all competitions last term, with half-a-dozen scored during West Ham’s Europa Conference League triumph.
With West Ham eager to build on lifting their first European trophy since 1965, head coach David Moyes has been seeking long-term striking reinforcements should the reliable Antonio make a move. Chelsea’s Armando Broja and Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri are his shortlist.
Antonio, who has scored three times for Jamaica since making his debut in 2021, has been the preferred starter for Moyes as he has outshone team-mates Danny Ings and Gianluca Scamacca.
A lucrative move to the Saudi Pro League would keep Antonio on his toes, as some of the world’s leading players are being lured by money-making contracts.
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