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West Ham looking to pip title winners to signing of midfield ace

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West Ham are believed to be looking to beat Bayer Leverkusen to the signing of Girona midfielder Aleix Garcia this summer, a new report has claimed.

The Hammers are looking for new additions in the summer transfer window, as life under new manager Julen Lopetegui gets underway.

There is still a huge question mark over the future of Lucas Paqueta, who faces a lengthy ban for betting offences and has also been linked with a move to Manchester City, so a new midfielder could be required.

According to the Guardian‘s Jacob Steinberg, West Ham are interested in signing Garcia from Girona in the coming months, aiming to get the better of Bundesliga champions Leverkusen in the race to acquire his signature:

“West Ham are attempting to derail Bayer Leverkusen’s attempt to sign the Girona midfielder Aleix García. Leverkusen have been leading the race for García but the Bundesliga champions are in danger of missing out on one of Xabi Alonso’s key targets. West Ham have offered about £14m for the Spaniard.”

The report goes on to add that Lopetegui “is looking to strengthen in several positions”, including midfield, which is considered a “priority” area of the pitch.

Garcia could be exactly what West Ham are after in the middle of the park this summer, following an excellent season that saw him help Girona seal a shock third-place finish in La Liga.

The 26-year-old started 36 of his side’s 38 league matches, chipping in with nine goal contributions (three goals and six assists), as well as completing 91.7% of his passes and averaging 1.3 tackles and clearances apiece per game.

Garcia’s form has seen him named in Spain’s preliminary squad for Euro 2024 this summer, as he looks to add to his one solitary cap for his country to date, which further shows what a top-quality signing he could be for the Hammers.

Even if the Paqueta saga blows over and he stays at West Ham, which admittedly feels unlikely currently, Lopetegui should be looking to strike a deal for the Girona ace, seeing him as a key player for the foreseeable future.

The threat of Leverkusen could be great, given their title-winning brilliance under Xabi Alonso, but the lure of the Premier League can never be understated.

Established West Ham ace to be subject of £35m bids from two clubs

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West Ham defender Nayef Aguerd is reportedly expected to be the subject of £35m bids from two different clubs this summer.

The next few months could be extremely interesting at the London Stadium, as Julen Lopetegui looks to make his presence felt from the off.

He is replacing David Moyes as manager, and will be tasked with not only making influential new signings, but also keeping hold of key current players.

Lucas Paqueta has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester City, but a long ban could now be coming his way for betting allegations, while the likes of Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen could also be eyed up by other clubs.

According to a new update from Football Insider, West Ham are in danger of losing Aguerd in the summer transfer window, too, with Ligue 1 clubs Rennes and Lyon interested in making a move for him:

“West Ham defender Nayef Aguerd will be the subject of £35m bids from Rennes and Lyon when the transfer window reopens next month, sources have told Football Insider. Sources say the Hammers are willing to let Aguerd, 28, leave as long as they can recoup the £30million fee they paid to sign him in 2022.

“The centre-back joined West Ham from Rennes two years ago, with the French side now looking to bring him back to Ligue 1 as they strengthen their defence ahead of next season.Lyon are also keen to secure his signature after a strong end to the season saw them clinch Europa League qualification, winning 14 of their last 16 league games.”

Losing Aguerd this summer would be a real blow for West Ham, considering what an established player he has become for the Hammers since arriving from Rennes back in 2022.

The 28-year-old has made 58 appearances for the east Londoners in total, including 21 starts in the Premier League this season, and he is both hugely experienced and young enough to continue being a big player at heart of the defence for the foreseeable future.

Aguerd is also contracted to West Ham until the summer of 2027, which means they are in no rush to sell him, and can at least demand big money if he does decide he wants a new chalenge.

Keeping hold of him is the best option, however, especically with Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna expected to move on as well.

West Ham battling European giants for signing of midfield ace this summer

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West Ham are believed to be battling Atletico Madrid for the signing of Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley this summer, with a bid potentially being weighed up.

The Hoops won yet another Scottish Premiership title this season, seeing off strong competition from rivals Rangers to clinch glory earlier this month.

Numerous players were key to Celtic’s success, but arguably none had a greater influence than O’Riley, who proved to be the creative hub of the team.

The Dane scored 18 goals and registered 13 assists in the league – impressive numbers for a striker, let alone a midfielder – and he could feel that now is the right time to enjoy a new challenge at a higher level.

According to a report from Football Insider, West Ham want to sign O’Riley from Celtic in the summer transfer window, providing competition for Atletico and others in the process:

“West Ham are ready to go head-to-head with European giants Atletico Madrid for Celtic playmaker Matt O’Riley, sources have told Football Insider. The Hoops star, 23, is attracting interest in England and across the continent after his stellar performances in the Scottish Premiership this term.

“Celtic rejected a bid from Atleti for the Denmark international in January and they are expected to be among the interested parties in the summer window. It is believed Premier League trio West Ham, Brighton and Everton are all keen on O’Riley – who left MK Dons in 2022 for just £1.5million.”

There may be some trepidation about West Ham bringing in O’Riley, given the step up in class in the Premier League compared to the Scottish Premiership, but he does look like a player full of attacking quality.

The 23-year-old is expected to be named in Denmark’s squad for Euro 2024, having won two caps for his country since switching his allegiance from England, who he made four appearances for at Under-18 and Under-16 level combined.

O’Riley is a silky footballer capable of scoring and creating on a regular basis, and while not necessarily on Lucas Paqueta’s level yet, Julen Lopetegui could view him as a similar option, should the Brazilian join Manchester City before the start of next season.

West Ham will lose another star player alongside Lucas Paqueta, says pundit

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Lucas Paqueta isn’t the only West Ham star who will leave the club in the summer transfer window, according to former Hammers striker Frank McAvennie.

The east Londoners are about to embark on a new era at the London Stadium, with David Moyes set to be replaced by Julen Lopetegui.

There has been an increasing feeling that a change of manager is needed for a while now, with West Ham’s season petering out during Moyes’ second spell in charge.

While Lopetegui will be desperate to bring in the right players this summer, there are also current stars for the Hammers who he will want to keep hold of.

Speaking to Football Insider, McAvennie claimed that Mohammed Kudus could also leave as well as Lucas Paqueta at the end of the season, in a worrying update:

“It would be massive. He [Paqueta] is going to go anyway, him and Kudus, we know that. If Paqueta wants to go, fine. I like him, he’s a wonderful talent. Kudus as well.

“I would like to see them stay another year and let the new manager have a try. We know who it is, just give him a try. It [his style of play] might be right up their street.”

To see both Kudus and Paqueta move on this summer would be so tough to accept for West Ham supporters, with the pair integral to their team’s success of late.

Paqueta does look extremely likely to leave, with a switch to Manchester City on the cards – a move nearly came to fruition last summer, too – which is going to leave a big void, given his combination of technical brilliance and work ethic.

The hope is that Kudus remains at the London Stadium for at least another season, though, considering he only arrived from Ajax last summer, but it is easy to envisage his head being turned by an offer from a huge club such as Liverpool, who have linked with him.

Lopetegui has to do all he can to convince the Ghana international to stay, and Paqueta for that matter, having registered 13 goals contributions (seven goals and six assists) in 26 Premier League starts this season.

West Ham have “started negotiations” with former Premier League player

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West Ham are one of the clubs to have “started negotiations” with the agent of Wilfried Zaha, according to a new update.

The Hammers will be looking for a strong summer in the transfer window, with David Moyes moving on as manager and likely being replaced by former Spain, Real Madrid and Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui.

Assuming the Spaniard is the choice to replace the current West Ham leader at the end of the campaign, he will be keen on bringing in players who can suit his style of play, potentially using funds received for Lucas Paqueta wisely, should the Brazilian complete a move to Manchester City.

According to a new report from Takvim [via Sport Witness], the east Londoners have “started negotiations” with Fenerbahce winger Zaha, as they look to strike a deal for him at the end of the season.

West Ham aren’t alone when it comes to wanting to sign the former Crystal Palace star, however, with Aston Villa also in the mix.

Zaha joined the Turkish giants on a free transfer last season, but could look for a swift return to the Premier League.

This could be an interesting piece of business by West Ham this summer, with the Ivorian still an impressive footballer who can cause defenders nightmares on his day.

Now 31 years of age, Zaha has scored nine goals in 13 Turkish Super Lig starts – 27 appearances in total in the competition – and he also scored and assisted once apiece in the Champions League earlier in the campaign.

Granted, the Ivory Coast international isn’t necessarily at the peak of his powers now, so Lopetegui may not view him as one of the first names on his team sheet in the long-term, but he could be a great squad player for a few years.

Zaha has shown that he can be a force in the Premier League, racking up a tally of 97 goal contributions (68 goals and 29 assists) in 305 appearances during his time at Palace and Manchester United, and the depth that he could add to West Ham’s squad means signing him would be better than deciding against it.