It’s fair to say Fedor Smolov isn’t a name we often cover at Sport Witness. The 27 year old Russian striker plays for FC Krasnodar and has a contract until June 2019.

Ten goals and a couple of assists in the Russian league so far this season, in just 13 games, has seen Smolov get some attention, and, according to him, some of it has been from West Ham.

Russian Football News this week carried some quite unflattering comments from Smolov about interest from West Ham: “It’s true they made an offer, then they increased it. But, West Ham are near the bottom of the table, against Man City they were very defensive, that’s not my style.”

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Strangely, Real Madrid interest is mentioned by Marca on Tuesday. The Spanish newspaper pick out Smolov as a possible target, but don’t sound too convinced themselves.

Signing Smolov, even as a stand-in reserve for the rest of the season, probably isn’t what the Real Madrid faithful would be looking for.

All of this, including the West Ham comments, helps give Somolov a profile boost and perhaps flush out some real interest that attracts him more than the Hammers currently do.