West Ham United have had a bid accepted by Lille for midfielder Amadou Onana at the fourth time of asking, according to reports.
Onana has been a major target for West Ham in recent weeks. They have been putting pressure on to complete a deal to take him from Lille. However, the French side only signed him last summer, so have been reluctant to let him go.
With that in mind, Lille have already rejected some offers from West Ham for Onana. The Belgium international may be more expensive than the Hammers first expected, but they have still been pushing for his signature.
Now, they have finally reached a breakthrough when it comes to his valuation. French journalist Saber Desfarges revealed overnight that there is now an agreement between the two clubs for Onana.
Desfarges relayed that West Ham would be paying €35m (£29.3m) up front for Onana, plus a potential €5m (£4.2m) in bonuses. In turn, the Premier League club have begun talks with the 20-year-old and his representatives.
The information has been picked up by Sky Sports News, who have confirmed a €40m (£33.5m) package is in place for West Ham to sign Onana. They clarify it was West Ham’s fourth bid for the Senegal-born talent.
While Lille did not want to sell, they acknowledged this could be an opportunity that might not come their way again.
In addition, Sky have said the deal is not close to completion yet because of the talks over personal terms being at an early stage. Onana’s current contract with Lille is due to run until 2026.
West Ham spending big for Amadou Onana
When it comes to Amadou Onana, it may be a case of persistence paying off for West Ham.
It was clear to see why they wanted another midfielder, despite already bringing in Flynn Downes from Swansea City. They are numerically down from last season after the retirement of Mark Noble and departure of Alex Kral.
If they can add Onana, then, they would have replenished the ranks. He and Downes would add competition for Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.
The question will be whether they are overpaying for Onana. He only has one full season of experience in a top-tier league.
Granted, he performed well in it, earning 41 appearances in all competitions for Lille. The French side have thus worked hard to make sure they get a good deal for him.
Whether it will be good business for West Ham will be up to Onana to prove. But he is building up decent pedigree to match his promising potential.
With European football on the menu again at the London Stadium, it should be another exciting season for West Ham. Perhaps Onana will be there to experience it first hand.