West Ham are closing in on the capture of a Chelsea star Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t wish to sell, while reports also claim a second Blues star valued at £20m could move across London.
The Hammers are flush with cash on the back of selling Declan Rice to Arsenal for a package worth £105m. David Moyes’ side must sign a direct replacement and have already seen a £45m bid for Fulham’s Joao Palhinha rejected. However, with Liverpool altering their transfer strategy, the Portuguese may well wind up at Anfield.
In any case, one and potentially two new midfielders are wanted at West Ham. According to Sky Germany, a five-man shortlist the Hammers have drafted up has been revealed.
They state Leon Goretzka, Edson Alvarez, Sofyan Amrabat, Denis Zakaria and Conor Gallagher are in West Ham’s sights. A separate report from the Daily Mail echoed main of those names, while also adding James Ward-Prowse into the mix.
But per Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, it is a deal for Chelsea’s Gallagher that is quickly taking shape.
Indeed, Plettenberg reported: “talks are already well advanced with Gallagher. The fee would be between 25 and 35 million euros.”
That equates to a range of roughly £21.7m-£30.4m. However, according to Sky Sports, Chelsea value the player far higher.
They state the Blues have slapped a price tag of ‘well in excess of £40m’ on the 23-year-old. What’s more, Gallagher has been included in Chelsea’s pre-season tour of America and manager Pochettino ‘is planning for him to be part of the squad next season.’
But if Plettenberg is correct, Pochettino could soon be denied the chance to work with the England international moving forward.
Sky Sports concluded a Gallagher move to West Ham may be reliant on the player pushing to leave – another factor that would frustrate Pochettino.
West Ham want rising Chelsea left-back
Elsewhere, the Athletic bring news of West Ham potentially making it a double of Chelsea raids.
Left-back Ian Maatsen is the player coming under the microscope, with the 21-year-old Dutchman coming off the back of a superb campaign while loaned to Burnley.
Maatsen earned a place in the Championship team of the season while helping Vincent Kompany’s side storm to promotion. Burnley are labelled ‘favourites’ to re-sign Maatsen on loan, though a permanent exit elsewhere could await.
The Clarets have thus far declined to meet Chelsea’s £20m asking price regarding an outright sale. That’s leaving the door ajar for other suitors to strike, with the Athletic noting West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Benfica and Wolfsburg are all circling.
It’s claimed Maatsen’s preference is to tough it out at Stamford Bridge and fight for his place.
However, if Marc Cucurella isn’t sold, Maatsen would have Ben Chilwell plus Cucurella blocking his path to game-time.
If West Ham bid close to Chelsea’s £20m valuation, both the Blues and Maatsen will have difficult decisions to make.