West Ham have failed to sign Maxi Gomez – but it may turn out to be a good thing as they’ve been backed to instead complete ‘one of the deals of the season’.
The Hammers hoped to sign Gomez, the Celta Vigo forward, in January and renewed their interest over the past couple of days having seen Marko Arnautovic leave for the Chinese Super League.
However, Valencia have beaten West Ham to the punch with a deal taking the Uruguay international to the Mestalla set to be announced shortly.
Manuel Pellegrini has decided to move on to alternate targets rather than pursue Gomez in the hope of hijacking his move to Valencia, and shock reports have claimed Gonzalo Higuain is a target of West Ham’s despite his poor spell on loan at Chelsea last season.
There have also been links with Sebastien Haller, the Eintracht Frankfurt forward, with reports claiming the Hammers have already reached an agreement to sign him for £36millon.
The 25-year-old is said to have signed a contract which keeps him at the London Stadium until 2024, though some German media outlets say these rumours have come too soon as no deal has been agreed as of yet.
European football expert Kevin Hatchard has told talkSPORT his contacts in Frankfurt say there is nothing concrete to the reports – but revealed Eintracht are refusing to deny claims Haller will join West Ham.
And Hatchard raved about Haller while discussing the French forward, claiming West Ham will be bringing in a truly top class player if they do secure his signature this summer.
Speaking to Wednesday’s Sports Bar, Hatchard said: “The feeling, certainly with Maxi Gomez, is that he prefers to stay in LaLiga. He would rather go to Valencia who have Champions League football, and Santi Mina would go the other way as part of the deal – something Celta would be happy with.
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“In terms of alternatives; Sebastian Haller is being strongly linked with West Ham now.
“I think he’s a super player. He’s a centre-forward who is great at bringing others into play.
“You look at Eintracht’s front three from last season; they had Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic.
“And a lot of Jovic’s goals are because Haller has either set him up or has dragged a defender out the space Jovic moves into.
“His all-round game is great; he’s good in the air and a really good goalscorer.
“I think he’d be an absolute steal if West Ham could get him.
“The feeling amongst local journalists who follow Frankfurt is there is nothing concrete – but they certainly aren’t denying it. And there have been widespread reports that it has moved on and Haller is very strongly linked to West Ham.
“If they can get it done, I think it could be one of the deals of the season.”