Premier League • England

West Ham hit with immediate Amadou Onana setback as Everton match offer, with player’s preference revealed

Amadou Onana on the ball for Belgium

Everton have joined the race to sign West Ham target Amadou Onana from Lille and have even gone as far as matching the Hammers’ offer, according to reports.

Onana has been a major target for West Ham in recent months amid their need to evolve in midfield. They have already made one signing in that position, Flynn Downes. But they need one more to account for the losses of Mark Noble and Alex Kral.

David Moyes has set his sights on Onana, who enjoyed a productive debut season in Ligue 1 with Lille last term after joining them from Hamburg.

West Ham have had a few unsuccessful bids, but it was reported on Wednesday that they have finally seen an offer accepted.

Per various sources, they would be paying a €40m (£33.5m) package comprising of an initial €35m (£29.3m) and €5m (£4.2m) in bonuses.

However, the news came with the warning that personal terms were not close to being agreed. West Ham still have work to do if they are to get their man.

Now, they face the added complication of Everton attempting to hijack the transfer. According to the Daily Mail, Moyes’ former side are now making their own attempt to take Onana.

In fact, it is claimed they have matched West Ham’s offer. What’s more, they are willing to offer Onana better personal terms than what would be on the table at the London Stadium.

In turn – although it may not be the only reason – Onana is leaning towards favouring Everton as his next destination.

Frank Lampard wants to bolster his midfield options at Goodison Park. Everton are also looking to bring back Idrissa Gueye from PSG in the position, for example.

Now, their interest in Onana means Gueye may not be the only man from Ligue 1 they take this summer.

Everton could therefore take their tally of summer signings up to five, after already bringing in James Tarkowski, Dwight McNeil and Ruben Vinagre.

The new midfielders would be competing for places alongside the likes of Abdoulaye Doucoure and Tom Davies. Players like Andre Gomes, Allan and Jean-Philippe Gbamin may be facing uncertain futures.

Everton may be most sensible choice for Amadou Onana

With that in mind, perhaps the preferable destination for Amadou Onana would be Everton.

Although West Ham have European football on offer and Everton do not, there is more likely to be a regular starting role for Onana with the Toffees.

West Ham already have an established midfield partnership of Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek. In contrast, there is definitely at least one, if not two, starting places up for grabs with Everton.

And despite their relegation battle last season, Everton are a big club who can aim higher with some stability. West Ham themselves have shown them the example to follow in terms of trajectory.

Onana could become part of Everton’s potential resurgence. It would be a blow to West Ham after all the work they have put into his transfer.

But with the money involved, it may be better for West Ham to find a cheaper backup – like they have with Downes – anyway. Everton, on the other hand, need to spend for a starter and could end up getting Onana for themselves.

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