West Ham agrees to record fee for striker linked to Inter Milan

Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images

Keita Balde Diao’s breakout season for Lazio has earned him the interest of many a club. Five-minute hat tricks will do that.

West Ham United, however, may have surged to the front of the queue.

The player has to want to head to London, of course, but multiple reports say Lazio has accepted a club record fee of nearly $37 million for the 22-year-old Senegalese striker.

Born in Spain and part of Barcelona’s academy for seven seasons, Keita headed to Rome in 2011, busting into Lazio’s first team in 2013.

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He’s scored 31 goals in 135 appearances despite his young age, and 16 of those came last season in Serie A. Only seven players scored more, and six played at least 1000 more minutes than Keita.

Keita also has three goals in 13 caps for Senegal.

Goal in Italy says it’s up to Keita whether he heads to West Ham, with Inter Milan and Chelsea among the clubs also linked with the player.

West Ham reportedly nabbed Marko Arnautovic as well on Tuesday, with Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta previously announced as new Irons. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is also rumored to head to London, but Keita would almost certainly hamper than idea.