New Hammers technical director Tim Steidten has flown to the Dutch capital and is understood to be in advanced negotiations, though no agreement has yet be reached between the clubs, with the Irons also closing in on the signing of Stuttgart defender Konstatinos Mavropanos.
West Ham are hoping to pay around £35million for Kudus after Brighton reportedly had a similar offer accepted earlier this summer before walking away from the deal. Chelsea also sounded out the player earlier in the window and he was linked to Arsenal.
Kudus is thought to be keen on a move to the London Stadium and personal terms are not expected to be an issue.
The Ghanaian scored 18 goals and added seven assists in all competitions last season and has already opened his account for the new campaign, scoring in Ajax’s opening day victory over Heracles in the Eredivisie last weekend.
The versatile 23-year-old can play in attacking midfield or out wide and David Moyes is keen to strengthen both areas of his squad as the Irons brace for the possible departure of Lucas Paqueta, though the move for Kudus is not contingent on the Brazilian being sold.
Manchester City have already had a £60m bid for Paqueta rejected and are expected to return with an improved offer, with Pep Guardiola confirming he is in the market for a midfielder after Kevin De Bruyne was ruled out for four months with a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, West Ham are on track to strengthen their backline with the addition of Mavropanos after advancing talks with Stuttgart, the defender identified as the Hammers’s next target after a move for Manchester United defender Harry Maguire collapsed.
The Greek international spent four years on Arsenal’s books but struggled to make a breakthrough and has impressed since joining Stuttgart permanently last summer after two seasons on loan at the Bundesliga club. The 25-year-old would provide competition and cover for first-choice pair Nayef Aguerd and Kurt Zouma, both of whom had injury-hit campaigns last term.
West Ham midfielder Flynn Downes underwent a medical at Southampton on Thursday ahead of his season-long loan move to St Mary’s, but will only be eligible to face Plymouth in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off in the Championship if registered by midday on Friday.