It’s believed that West Ham United have finally ended their pursuit of Sunderland striker Connor Wickham after two bids were turned down flat for the 21-year-old.
The Hereford-born star has just one year left on his contract with the Black Cats, prompting furious speculation over his immediate future.
Two firm offers duly arrived from the east London club over recent days only to be rebuffed in favour of further talks over a potential new deal at the Stadium of Light for the man who scored a number of crucial goals during the relegation run-in last term.
His late-season performances helped Sunderland steer clear of trouble and resulted in Wickham being handed the Premier League player of the month award for April, while elevating his status on the transfer radar of rival clubs in the process.
Hammers’ boss Sam Allardyce saw the former Ipswich Town frontman as the perfect solution to his striker problems caused by Andy Carroll’s ongoing injury issues. However, the ex-Newcastle United manager will be forced to look elsewhere for reinforcements after receiving no encouragement from Sunderland whatsoever.
Meanwhile, Sunderland officials will look to tie down the powerful forward to a new long-term deal in an effort to reap the rewards of Wickham’s sudden surge in form following almost three years of waiting for the £8.1million buy to finally come good.
West Ham’s acceptance of a seemingly lost cause would certainly suggest Wickham is one step nearer to committing his future to the club.