West Ham had all-but signed Duvan Zapata on transfer deadline day, but the deal ultimately failed because Atalanta failed to sign the paperwork, according to a report.
The Hammers made bringing in a new goal-getter a major priority in the most recent transfer window. While Michail Antonio has proved a reliable star up front, boss David Moyes wanted support.
What’s more, Jarrod Bowen is in sparkling form but again there is a lack of the same quality behind the pair.
As a result, West Ham chased Atalanta’s Colombia international Zapata late on in the January transfer window.
The interest from the London club came following Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester United all reportedly eyeing the 30-year-old up.
However, West Ham failed to get the deal over the line and therefore ended last month with no new signings.
According to ESPN, though, Moyes’ club did all they could to sign Zapata and the transfer failure was not entirely in their hands.
The move for the striker only became a ‘realistic prospect’ with a matter of hours left in the window. Still, West Ham and Serie A side Atalanta reached an agreement.
Declan Rice bidding war for Chelsea, Man United and Man City
West Ham will have to fight off Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City to keep Declan Rice this summer
Several agents on the Atalanta side of the deal complicated the negotiations, but the talks proved successful nonetheless.
West Ham therefore signed the final piece of paperwork and sent it to Atalanta. But a source told ESPN that the document – and Atalanta – “went missing”.
The move consequently collapsed and West Ham ended up without a new forward heading into the business end of the season.
The report does not explain why Atalanta failed to sign the final paperwork for the deal. Since then, though, Zapata has suffered an adductor injury and could be out for up to three months.
Zapata failure could cost West Ham
West Ham wanted a new forward as they chase a top-four finish in the Premier League and Europa League glory.
Indeed, the Hammers’ squad will be stretched as they return to European competition.
Moyes’ side have relied heavily on Bowen this season and the England hopeful has netted 12 goals and assisted 11 others in 35 games this term.
Antonio, meanwhile, has directly contributed 17 goals in all competitions this term.
Should either player suffer a long-term injury, though, West Ham may struggle for goals.