West Ham appear to be eyeing reinforcements for their front line when the January transfer window rolls around. Manuel Pellegrini is keen to bolster his striking ranks, giving some help to the likes of Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez and Lucas Perez.
Pellegrini has made no secret of his desire to sign another forward, having already had to dismiss reports that the Hammers were eyeing up a move for LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
A more realistic alternative could come from the Portuguese top flight. According to reports, West Ham are eyeing up a move for Benfica forward Nicolas Castillo. The Chilean could be interested in linking up with his compatriot Pellegrini and trying his hand at the Premier League.
Castillo only joined Benfica in the summer from Mexican side Pumas UNAM, for whom he scored 24 goals in 32 appearances last season. However the 25-year-old has struggled for game time since arriving in Portugal; a spate of injury problems derailed his progress, and he has still struggled to force his way into Rui Vitoria’s plans when fit.
According to Record, Castillo could be seeking an escape route, and West Ham could offer him a new home. The striker only cost Benfica £6m, so a potential deal may not be too expensive. Castillo – who has 16 caps for Chille – has had stints in Europe before for Mainz in Germany, Club Brugge in Belgium and Frosinone in Italy.
However he has only scored ten goals in 37 games for those clubs. He has only appeared for Benfica four times this season, and is yet to score a goal.
West Ham would be looking to share the goal scoring burden with top scorer Arnautovic, who has five goals in nine Premier League games this season. Mexican Javier Hernandez has played six times without scoring, whilst Lucas Perez scored his first goal in the club’s 3-1 defeat to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup.
Castillo could add some competition amongst the forwards, and there is talk that his agent has already met with Pellegrini.