West Ham have effectively been told to forget about making a renewed move for January target Youssef En-Nesyri after the Sevilla striker admitted he wasn’t cut out for life in England.
The Hammers are this season’s surprise package and with four games left, sit three points off the top four. Boss David Moyes though has played down their chances of securing Champions League football. However, a return to any form of European football would represent a fantastic season for West Ham.
Their progress is all the more remarkable given it’s been achieved without a recognised No 9. Having sold Sebastien Haller in January, the Hammers failed to land a replacement.
Top of their wanted list was Sevilla’s explosive frontman En-Nesyri. The Moroccan was the subject of a failed £27m approach from the Hammers in January.
Sevilla were reluctant to sell at the time, but now it appears their stance on a sale has changed. Indeed, the La Liga side appear open to the idea of a €40m (£36m) sale.
All the same, En-Nesyri himself has strongly suggested he does not fancy a move to England. Speaking to ABC Sevilla, he has revealed he previously spent time on trial with Chelsea. However, he says he could not stand the cold weather and turned his back on a prospective move.
“I went to Chelsea and stayed there for three weeks,” En-Nesyri said.
“It was very cold, and I went back to Morocco; I couldn’t take it anymore.
“I went back to the Mohammed VI Academy, and we played some games against Sevilla, Malaga and Almería. That’s when Malaga saw me, and they decided to sign me.”
En-Nesyri has also been linked with Liverpool and Manchester United this summer. However, it appears all three could be wasting their time if they were to make a move.
Lingard the first priority for Moyes
Moyes’ first priority of the summer, however, will be to pin down the permanent signing of Jesse Lingard.
Lingard has burst back onto the scene in the second half of this season after his Manchester United struggles. Indeed, the 28-year-old has directly contributed to 13 goals in 10 games since joining West Ham on loan. As such, he could cap off a remarkable spell with a spot in England’s Euro 2020 squad.
That form has alerted a number of Premier League rivals, while a route back at United also looks possible.
However, a report on Monday stated Lingard has opted for a move to West Ham this summer.
Lingard has thrived under Moyes in the free role he’s been afforded at the London Stadium. As such, Lingard has seemingly come to the realisation that staying with the Hammers is in his best interests.
In addition, well-informed football journalist Pedro Almeida, via Hammers News, claims Lingard’s fee will be set at £21.5m. The Hammers have already paid United a £3m loan fee, taking the total package up to £24.5m.
That’s some £6.5m more than the original £15m fee being bandied about. However, given his impact at West Ham, the investment looks a sound one from their point of view.