West Ham boss David Moyes has claimed he had one striker deal over the line on deadline day in January only for the player’s club to go missing from the radar.
Moyes was hunting for a new striker in January, in fact the whole of Europe has known as much over the last few years. That has been part of the Hammers’ problem – prices have been inflated.
There was a certain amount of frustration from Hammers fans after another transfer window went by without any new arrivals. In fact the club have yet to replace Sebastien Haller despite selling the forward to Ajax in January 2021 for £20.25m.
That has left Moyes to rely heavily on Michail Antonio, who seemed to revel in that responsibility at the start of the season. And after six goals in the first eight Premier League games the Hammers were flying.
However, his form has dropped off and he has netted just twice since in the Premier League.
The 31-year-old, who is under contract until 2024, is in the midst of an eight-game goalless run.
That has seen the heat placed firmly on Moyes, who has admitted his frustration about his paper-thin squad.
Moyes said: “Do you not think we tried to sign players, do you not think we know we need a bigger squad.”
And one of those players was 30-year-old Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata.
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Moyes thought he had landed Zapata on deadline day in January. It would have been a welcome signing – adding a forward with 12 goals in 19 starts this season.
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“That one (a deal for Zapata) was done,” Moyes told The Evening Standard.
“But they (Atalanta), for the last four hours of the window, just disappeared, shut down.
“We know we’ve got a relatively small squad — it was the way we chose to be at the start.”
Zapata is under contract until 2023 and a summer sale is likely.
A report from MilanLive has stated he could be heading for the exit door later this year.
Atalanta are already looking at options to replace the Colombian. Andrea Belotti is reportedly their first choice.