West Ham must think again as Manchester City plan to complicate their enquiry for centre-back Nathan Ake by making a major request, according to a report.
The Hammers have risen to become one of the Premier League’s top teams in recent seasons. Manager David Moyes struggled in his first spell there, but he has enjoyed great success since his return.
Much of their success – which has also come in the Europa League this season – has come from smart recruitment.
Indeed, signings such as Jarrod Bowen up front and summer centre-back arrival Kurt Zouma have proved vital. However, West Ham suffered a blow at the back with Angelo Ogbonna’s recent injury.
He suffered an anterior cruciate ligament issue in the 3-2 win over Liverpool in November. As such, he is likely to miss the rest of the season. More tellingly in the short term, West Ham have not won in the league since he dropped out.
As a result, the Hammers are looking to find cover and re-stabilise their back line. According to 90min, they have made Man City’s Nathan Ake their ‘primary target’.
The Netherlands international moved to the Etihad Stadium from Bournemouth last summer for £40million. However, he has struggled for minutes, only making 22 appearances since then.
While injury set him back in his debut campaign, he has been fully fit this term. Still, he has only made five Premier League outings.
West Ham therefore want to discuss a loan deal with City which would feature an obligation to buy. The Hammers can also afford a permanent deal in January, but would rather test the water with Ake before paying a bigger fee for his services.
As for City, they are willing to negotiate Ake’s exit. Crucially, though, they plan to tell West Ham that they want assurances of future conversations about a deal for Declan Rice.
The England midfielder is a target for City and the Hammers will have to think again.
Moyes has regularly insisted that Rice is worth at least £100million, given he is a Three Lions regular and has already made 145 Premier League appearances at the age of 22.
West Ham still eyeing Lingard
Meanwhile, Manchester United attacker Jesse Lingard reportedly remains a transfer target for West Ham.
The 28-year-old enjoyed a stunning loan spell in east London last season after deciding to take action over his lack of game time at Old Trafford.
However, he has gone back to playing a fringe role at United. With his contract running out next summer, though, the chance of him moving on again remains high.
West Ham coach Stuart Pearce has outlined his club’s current thinking over a transfer for Lingard.