Moyes plotting Barcelona raid to solve growing West Ham problem

Date published: Tuesday 19th October 2021 8:49 - James Holland

Neto Barcelona

West Ham manager David Moyes is reportedly looking to solve a first-team problem with the signing of a Barcelona star.

The Scot has benefitted from an improved transfer strategy in the last season or two. Rather than going big on established names, the Hammers have looked to bring in cheaper alternatives.

Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal are prime examples. Soucek moved to the London Stadium in July 2020 in a €20m (£19.1m) deal.

Following an excellent start, club chiefs quizzed Soucek on where they could find more hidden gems. They went on to sign his former Slavia Prague team-mate Vladimir Coufal for just £5.4m.

Both players have been impressive since moving to West Ham. Soucek managed ten goals from midfield during his debut campaign. Coufal, meanwhile, has got fans excited with his all-action displays from right-back.

Moyes is now hoping to improve an ageing part of the squad in 2022. That is the goalkeeper position, which is currently occupied by Lukasz Fabianski.

The Pole put in some great performances last season as West Ham qualified for Europe. However, he is now 36 years old, which means a long-term replacement needs to be found.

Alphonse Areola was signed on loan from PSG in the summer. It’s unclear whether the deal will be made permanent as he is yet to feature in the Premier League this term.

Spanish outlet Sport (via Sport Witness) write that West Ham could sign Neto of Barcelona. The Brazilian looks set to move on in January as Barcelona aim to reduce their wage bill further.

Neto is 32 years old, so clearly he isn’t a permanent solution. But his arrival would give West Ham an extra few years to find an exceptional number one.

Barca wanted €18m (£15.1m) for Neto during the summer transfer window. Their demands have been reduced as few suitors could be found at that price.

Instead, the Catalan giants will allow him to leave on loan. An obligation to buy clause will be inserted into the deal to get Neto off their books.

Moyes seems to be interested in such a proposition. Sport claim that West Ham are the ‘best placed club’ to land Neto.

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West Ham in for goalscoring machine

The Hammers are also looking at a new striker to compete with Michail Antonio. Genk’s Paul Onuachu is one option being considered.

The 27-year-old was on fire last season, reaching 35 goals in all competitions. He has never hidden his desire to play in the Premier League either.

Belgian outlet HBVL state that talks over a move could get underway this week. West Ham will come up against Onuachu and Genk in the Europa League on Thursday. Officials from both teams are expected to meet to discuss a deal.

West Ham will need to act fast as Onuachu is also attracting interest from Southampton. The Saints have struggled in front of goal since Danny Ings’ switch to Aston Villa.

READ MORE: Newcastle tipped to launch shock bid for former West Ham ace

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