West Ham target Ecuadoran forward Valencia

Quito, Ecuador: English football club West Ham United have launched a 12 million pound bid for Enner Valencia, following his impressive performances for Ecuador at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The 25-year-old forward, who had scored three goals in Brazil to add to his effort in the pre-tournament friendly draw with England in Miami, is prepared to earn a switch to Europe in the near future, reports Xinhua.

His performances over the summer have impressed several Premier League clubs, including Everton, Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur, but West Ham appear to lead the chase.

Jesus Martinez, president of his club Pachuca, said: "Valencia will leave Pachuca for the highest fee ever received for a player in the Mexican League."

Valencia has netted 18 goals in 23 appearances for Pachuca in Mexico since signing from Ecuadoran side Emelec.

Martinez admitted it hurts him to lose Valencia.

"It hurts me, I don`t want to sell him and neither does the manager or the fans but we can`t go against the career the kid aspires to, first because of the salary that they pay there, five times bigger and he also wants to prove himself in the best league in the world, which is the Premier League and that will make Pachuca very proud as we will be sending other players to Europe."

The move is a measure of West Ham`s determination after injury to Andy Carroll that left them lightweight up front for the first half of last season.

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