Ukraine's Taras Stepanenko celebrates after scoring during the friendly football match between Ukraine and Cyprus at Chornomorets Stadium in Odessa on March 24, 2016.   / AFP / SERGEI SUPINSKY        (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

West Ham Miss Out on Ukrainian Star

Having been linked on and off with West Ham United for some time, Hammer fans might be disappointed to hear that, according to ESPN, they have lost the race to sign Ukraine midfielder Taras Stepanenko. He is set to join fellow countrymen Andriy Yarmonleko and Yevhen Konoplyanka in Germany as he gets set to join up with Hoffenheim instead.

Apparently he was close to joining West Ham from Shakhtar Donetsk in the January window, but is now close to moving to the German top flight instead. At 28, the combative midfielder would have offered energy, craft and guile in equal measure to West Ham but now looks set to move to Julian Nagelsmann’ side instead.

With an €8m move lined up, it looks like West Ham will need to move on to a new set of targets. He’s been one of the top players in Ukraine for some time, and will be a key asset to Shakhtar that they will need to replace.

Having played a key role in their potential progression ahead of Napoli in the Champions League, then, Stepanenko will be a player in demand. He is a very strong midfielder, known for his great tacking ability and his consistency in the middle of the pitch.

If coach David Moyes was interested in the Ukraine midfielder, it sounds like he might need to look at new targets as the chances of signing him appear bleak.

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