Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has called West Ham the prime suitors for Villarreal star Arnaut Danjuma this summer, while also explaining why his transfer to east London fell through.
Danjuma has already spent time in England, having represented Bournemouth between 2019 and 2021. Villarreal signed him from the Cherries last year as they thought he had the ability to shine in La Liga and in Europe.
The centre-forward, who can also operate as a winger, enjoyed a successful debut campaign with Villarreal. He notched 16 goals and four assists in all competitions, with 10 of those goals coming in La Liga.
This form helped the Yellow Submarine, as Villarreal are known, finish seventh in the league. They also reached the last four of the Champions League before losing to Liverpool.
Danjuma was heavily linked with a Premier League return during the summer transfer window. Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle and West Ham were all thought to be eyeing a move for him.
Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle didn’t act on their interest. But West Ham did, presumably at the instruction of David Moyes.
On July 1, Romano revealed West Ham to be in talks with Villarreal over a £34.6m deal for Danjuma. They were making progress in the discussions at that point, too.
Villarreal’s president Fernando Roig was soon asked about the transfer rumours. He did little to push them back, saying: “If they [offers] come, that’s fine. If they don’t, that’s fine too. We have great forwards.”
Despite getting close to a transfer agreement, West Ham couldn’t bring the Dutchman to the London Stadium.
Reports claimed this was because Danjuma had little interest in joining the Hammers. Instead, he was hoping to repay the faith manager Unai Emery had shown in him and enjoy another top season at El Madrigal.
Romano weighs in on Arnaut Danjuma to West Ham
Romano has now confirmed West Ham were the English club who held the most interest in landing Danjuma. He also confirmed that the player’s stance was the main reason the switch didn’t go through.
“Despite links with Newcastle and some other clubs, the real interest was there from West Ham,” Romano wrote in his latest CaughtOffside column.
“They wanted Danjuma but the deal collapsed because of personal terms, there was no agreement with the player.
“In the end, Danjuma decided to stay at Villarreal. We’ll see if he becomes an option for English clubs again in the future.”
Unfortunately for the attacker, things have not gone his way recently. He has only made two substitute appearances this term after recovering from injury.
The 25-year-old will be looking to hit top form again, both in La Liga and in the Europa Conference League. Villarreal will be one of the favourites to win the European competition after coming so close to reaching the UCL final last season.
Danjuma getting back among the goals should keep Prem clubs on his trail. However, West Ham are unlikely to go back in for him.
They signed Gianluca Scamacca, Maxwel Cornet and Lucas Paqueta in the summer to bolster Moyes’ attacking ranks.
Meanwhile, Paqueta’s arrival has reportedly pushed a West Ham player out of Moyes’ plans and his agent is now free to organise a transfer elsewhere.