West Ham have seen a deal involving Man City hijacked and have walked away from another, with the agonising wait for a first summer signing set to roll on.
The Hammers have cash to splash on the back of selling Declan Rice to Arsenal for a package worth £105m. However, despite their coffers being full and also having the added lure of Europa League football, West Ham are struggling to close their deals.
Indeed, West Ham have already seen bids for Conor Gallagher and Joao Palhinha rejected. Chelsea turned their nose up at the £40m offering for Gallagher, while £45m wasn’t enough to convince Fulham to sell Palhinha.
Two midfield additions are wanted – one a direct replacement for Rice and the other more of a box-to-box option.
Regarding the latter, West Ham lodged a reported £20m bid for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse in late-July.
The Saints rejected the bid, though club chief Jason Wilcox suggested a deal was potentially there to be had.
“If we get the right offer – we will consider it,” said Wilcox after rejecting the opening bid.
An improved offer was thought to be in the works. But according to both the Daily Mail and Sky Sports, West Ham have pulled the plug on their pursuit.
Explaining why, it was revealed Southampton’s £30m asking price was deemed too high. As such, Sky’s Kaveh Solhekol reported West Ham have opted to “walk away” from the deal.
That was echoed by the Mail who claimed tension behind the scenes is growing at the club. As yet, the Hammers are the only Premier League side without a major first-team signing this summer.
Ajax hijack winger deal
One player who looked set to break that duck was Man City winger Carlos Borges.
Indeed, Fabrizio Romano reported a swoop for the 19-year-old Portuguese was at its “final stages” on July 24.
A fee of around £14m was cited, and with Man City inserting a buy-back clause into the contract, a deal was thundering towards completion.
However, Dutch giant Ajax have hijacked West Ham’s move for Borges, with Romano revealing the full details on Twitter.
The trusted journalist reported the transfer hijack has been “completed” and City will now receive a slightly higher fixed fee of £17m.
Borges has already completed a medical with Ajax and City have inserted both a buy-back and sell-on clause into the player’s contract.
Rubberstamping the West Ham misery, Romano gave the deal his signature “here we go” confirmation.