SUPER Eagles striker Emmanuel Emenike is expected to undergo a medical at English Premiership side West Ham today with a view to being available for selection ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie away to Liverpool.
Over the last two weeks, West Ham has been involved in tense negotiations with Fernebahce, Emenike’s Turkish club over the striker. Plagued by an injury crisis, West Ham has agreed a deal to take Emenike, 28, on loan for the rest of the season, with the view to a permanent move at the end of the current campaign.
West Ham coach, Slaven Bilic, has admitted, however, that the loan deal is complicated but he is hopeful it can be completed in. Bilic is desperate to land the tall and strong targetman, who scored seven times in 11 matches for UAE club, Al Ain, who he was recently loaned to by Fernebahce.
Bilic said: “Al Ain called me and basically we thought we could do a straight swap with them but now we are talking to Fernebahce, and we will see what happens. We are still waiting for that, as it’s a complicated situation.
“At the beginning it looked easy between two clubs but then when we had to deal with Fernebahce, who are a third party. So at one moment it didn’t look good but in that last couple of days the deal looks pretty much alive.”
Al Ain has agreed to cut short Emenike’s season-long loan deal to allow him to return to Fernebahce so that he could then make the switch to West Ham. Emenike has already agreed personal terms with West Ham and should he pass his medical he will become their second signing of this month’s transfer window after Sam Byram’s arrival from Leeds United.
Bilic is looking to add to his striking options before the close of the transfer window with forwards Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho injured and on the sidelines. In October, Emenike, who was top scorer as Nigeria won the Africa Nations Cup in 2013, announced his retirement from international football.
When Emenike joins West Ham, he will link up with fellow Super Eagle Victor Moses, who himself is there on a season-long loan from Chelsea. During the 2013 Cup of Nations, the two strikers were the core of Nigeria’s attack.