Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott has scored 55 goals in 231 league appearances for ArsenalGetty Images

West Ham are on the verge of completing a transfer for Arsenal forward Theo Walcott in a deal that could be worth up to £20m ($29m), according to reports.

The Sun claims Slaven Bilic has identified the 27-year-old as a prime talent who could help establish the hammers as one of the top clubs in England.

England international Walcott is reported to be unhappy at the lack of game time at Arsenal and is open to leaving the Emirates in search of regular first-team football.

He has made 231 league appearances for the Gunners since arriving at the club as a teenager from Southampton in 2006.

The Sun says Arsenal are willing to let Walcott leave for a fee of around £20m, with the player himself excited at the prospect of helping West Ham mount a top-four challenge next season.

'Statement of intent'

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan told Sky Sports on 9 May that the club had already made a £24m bid for a Ligue 1 striker and would make another £25m bid for a player based in England this week.

The Hammers' coffers will be boosted next season by their move to the 60,000-capacity Olympic Stadium.

"We are going to bring one or two top players. The Olympic Stadium gives us about £12m extra revenue a year, but not £100m," Sullivan said.

"We put in a bid today for €30m for a player and other bids will be going in.

Christian Benteke
Liverpool forward Christian Benteke has also been linked with a move to West HamGetty Images

"We are going to make a £20m or £25m bid for a player in England this week. So whatever happens, we'll bring a top striker in." He added: "It's a statement of intent. We'll spend between £30m-£50m on transfers this summer.

"But you've got to build it up gradually. You can't compete with the likes of Manchester United overnight. We might have to put our own money in – we've done it before – but we hope we're clever enough for the €30m bid."

West Ham have been linked with summer moves for Marseille's Belgian forward Michy Batshuayi and the highly-regarded Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Liverpool's Christian Benteke and Manchester City's Wilfried Bony have also been mooted as transfer targets.

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