West Ham are reportedly set to sign Sao Paulo centre-back Luizao on a free transfer in January, beating Fulham, Wolves and Juventus to his signature.
The 20-year-old has been on David Moyes’ radar for months, but with the Hammers now willing to pay a compensation fee the deal is close to completion.
The Brazilian looks set to join the club on a three-and-a-half-year deal for a free transfer.
Twitter transfer guru @ExWHUemployee, revealed the details of the switch this week.
He wrote: “We wanted to agree a percentage of future transfer fees instead with a smaller fee, although it isn’t clear, it appears the deal will be decided by compensation and is still waiting the decision of a work permit too.
“The club will argue he is being signed to feature in the first team already as part of the proposals to get a work permit but realistically he isn’t expected to feature consistently until next season.”
Perfect timing for the Hammers?
It’s good timing for West Ham given they are reportedly preparing to sell Craig Dawson for as little as £4 million in January.
The 32-year-old has been a stalwart at the back for the Hammers, but with just six months left on his contract, Moyes is keen to offload him.
Luizao is a solid operator in defence, helping Sao Paulo to six clean sheets this season.
The Brazilian encompasses the traditional aggressiveness of a South American defender, which will be popular with fans.
He is already a good tackler and excellent in the air, suggesting he could be an adequate long-term replacement for Dawson.
These solid attributes are what brought interest from Premier League rivals Fulham and Wolves.
The fact West Ham have beaten them to Luizao’s signature is definitely a positive for their supporters.
Also, the speed in which the business has been done will be pleasing to fans who criticised the club for leaving deals too late last summer.
Additionally, as a free transfer, the deal is relatively low risk and hard to argue with as Luizao could prove to be an excellent investment.
Luizao, however, would not necessarily go straight into the starting 11.
With no Premier League experience, the defender is a raw talent and needs to improve his composure in possession.
It will take some time for Luizao to climatize to English football, but he clearly has potential.
Although, given the injury problems of Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna, he may need to step in sooner rather than later.