The Europa League semi-finalists are keen to provide big backing for boss David Moyes this summer to build on two impressive full seasons under the Scot. Dennis, 24, scored 10 goals for the Hornets this season and remains highly-rated by a number of bigger clubs. West Ham fancy their chances with Watford relegated and Dennis keen to stay in English football.
The Nigerian will have to take a wage cut which is written into his contract following his club’s fall into the Championship while Watford are well aware that they may have to sacrifice him to offset the drop in revenue.
He has four years left on his contract, having arrived for just £3million from Belgian side Club Brugge last summer. He is valued at between £20-30million with Watford expected to push for as much as they can as Brugge are due a sell-on fee. Dennis’s representatives are set to hold talks with Watford next week after their final game, at Chelsea on Sunday.
Newcastle are also keen but the Hammers are able to offer European football with the club in the Europa Conference League as things stand. They could, however, be back in the Europa League should they win at Brighton on Sunday and Manchester United lose at Crystal Palace.
Moyes has funds available to spend this summer having kept his powder dry in January. Of the two biggest signings he made last summer, £28million Kurt Zouma remains a firm fans’ favourite but Nikola Vlasic, who cost the same amount from CSKA Moscow, has been a bitter disappointment and is set to be offloaded. West Ham want at least one more striker, two central midfielders and depth in the wide areas this summer.
Up front Jarrod Bowen has scored 18 goals as part of an outstanding second full season at the club. Michail Antonio has been hugely impressive with 12 goals in total across all competitions. But the Jamaica frontman has scored just four times for his club in the last five months with two of those goals in the Premier League, one in the Europa League and the other in the FA Cup.
It is widely believed West Ham would have reached the Europa League final had they had more depth in the squad, particularly up front. Moyes’ side were beaten by Eintracht Frankfurt but responded with a Premier League win at Norwich and an heroic display to hold champions-elect Manchester City to a point at the London Stadium.