West Ham currently have scouts in Portugal keeping an eye on the league’s brightest talents, according to a source close to WestHamWorld.co.uk.
Despite the Hammers being linked with big money moves for William Carvalho, Bas Dost and Vincent Aboubacar, it appears they have taken a liking to a versatile defender from Rio Ave.
That player is 22-year-old centre-back Nelson Monte, who is valued at just £450k by transfermarkt.com. Rio Ave has been seen as a feeder club back in Portugal by selling prospects to Benfica and Sporting Lisbon over the past few seasons.
Interestingly, Monte was originally a Benfica academy player and was sold to Rio Ave in 2008. He has made 10 league appearances so far this season and has also appeared in all Rio Ave’s cup games, racking up almost 1,500 minutes.
It is believed that Rio Ave will accept a bid of around £2.5m for the player, and at 22 he could come into the West Ham as back up to Winston Reid, Anfelo Ogbonna, Declan Rice and James Collins this season and could step into a more senior role the following season.
Ogbonna could go back to Torino on a permanent deal after the World Cup, while Fonte may be about to complete a January move to Wolves.