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At £26m West Ham are right to move on from Joao Mario

West Ham appear to be looking into new options this summer.

Mathew Nash

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West Ham United’s survival in the Premier League last season was, in part, down to the impact of new signing Joao Mario. The Portuguese international arrived at the club on loan from Inter Milan after failing to settle at the Italian side. He went on to play 13 times for the club, scoring two goals and winning over the fans with his industrious midfield displays.

This summer many wanted the Portuguese star to return to the club permanently, which is where they have hit a snag.

Simply put, he is going to cost too much.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

According to a report from the London Evening Standard in May, the Hammers want to bring Mario in again on loan. Inter, however, want a £26 million fee for the player to sell him permanently.

On the one hand, West Ham should definitely consider paying that fee for an exceptional player. But the club clearly have a limited amount of funds to spend.

They have already made moves for the likes of Issa Diop, Lukasz Fabianski and Ryan Fredericks so the wage bill will be getting tight and the transfer kitty running out. With the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Felipe Anderson also being targeted the fact is West Ham feel Inter are now asking for too much for Joao Mario’s services.

They probably are and the Hammers are now right to start looking at other potentially more affordable recruits.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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Everton

West Ham must learn lessons from Everton’s transfer mistakes

West Ham’s transfer activity is a cause for concern despite rising excitement.

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West Ham
Photo: Getty Images

Manuel Pellegrini has been extremely active in the market ahead of his debut campaign at West Ham but there is room for concern.

The Hammers have spent in excess of £85 million, TransferMarkt figures show, and continue to be linked with a number of further signings before the transfer window slams shut in less than a month – despite already signing seven new faces.

On paper, deals bringing the likes of Felipe Anderson, Jack Wilshere, Lukasz Fabianski and Andriy Yarmolenko to the London Stadium are exciting, particularly following a disappointing few years for the east London side, but problems could emerge.

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, former Everton midfielder Leon Osman warned that too many new signings could unbalance the side and pointed to his old employers’ activity in the market last year as evidence to back-up his argument.

“You’ve just got to be careful bringing in all those players in one bunch. I mean, look at Everton last season. We brought so many players in with so much money that everyone expected the season would be fantastic. And it was far from it.”

Ex-Everton man Leon Osman fires a warning to West Ham.

The situation in modern football means that pre-season predictions are often widely affected by the activity that one side has completed in the market. In those views, more spending = more success but the reality is rather different.

A spending spree for Everton last summer led by Ronald Koeman saw the Toffees splash over £140m on new players, TransferMarkt states, and the new arrivals struggled to settle at Goodison Park, which eventually led to Koeman losing his job and Everton having a season to forget.

Like West Ham’s business, the captures of Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney and Davy Klaassen looked good on paper but at the end of the campaign it was only really Pickford who could hold his head high.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Pellegrini’s activity at West Ham this summer is eerily similar; an experienced but out-of-form player with Premier League experience (Wilshere/Rooney), exciting attacking additions (Yarmolenko/Klaassen & Anderson/Sigurdsson), a goalkeeper from a relegated club (Fabianski/Pickford) and a free-agent full-back (Ryan Fredericks/Cuco Martina).

Settling all those signings into a new club is extremely challenging as each player will have their own expectations of playing opportunities and their preferred position, coming into a side that still has the likes of Declan Rice, Marko Arnautovic and Pablo Zabaleta to fit into things.

Perhaps the most concerning thing for West Ham is that Pellegrini is showing no signs of ending his attempts to land new recruits. The past week has seen another attacking player in Bernard linked by O Jogo, TuttoMercatoWeb state the Hammers are in the hunt for Genoa’s Diego Laxalt and continued speculation surrounding a potential swoop for Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles.

There is no guarantee that all those reports are genuine but the continued emergence of reported West Ham interest in a number of players suggests evidence that Pellegrini wants to land further additions before the new Premier League season.

The old saying goes that too many cooks spoil the broth and it seems that West Ham are busy assembling a team capable of feeding the 5000.

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Losing Marko Arnautovic would undo promise of exciting West Ham transfer window

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Photo: Getty Images.

As tension and frustration simmered at the London Stadium for much of 2017/18, the West Ham board finally seem to be making progress in their relationship with fans thanks to a promising transfer window. However, losing Marko Arnautovic could mean that their hard work is quickly forgotten.

TalkSPORT report that Manchester United and Roma are monitoring the Austrian, who was the club’s stand-out performer last campaign as he lead the line with pace and power in attack where others, including the likes of Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll, struggled for consistency and fitness.

Manuel Pellegrini has already made it clear that he wants Arnautovic to play a key role in his squad, having talked him up throughout the pre-season campaign, with Arnautovic already having proven to be a matchwinner in a friendly against League One side Wycombe Wanderers.

“I can’t say I’ve been impressed by Arnautovic, because I know him. For the three years I was at Manchester City I played a lot of times against him and he was always a good player who could do different things. Maybe last season was his best season in England, especially in the second half of the season. He demonstrated how important he can be. He’s always running, he supports the ball and he scores. If he can repeat the second half that he had last season, he will be a top player.”

Manuel Pellegrini was full of praise for the forward after he scored the winner in a pre-season friendly against Wycombe Wanderers.

Deals for the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere have got fans excited in east London, but none of them offer the goal threat that Arnautovic has provided since joining the club a year ago and the investment by the board would be undermined if it is all funded by the sale of a key man.

It would be a humiliating blow for Pellegrini too, to lose such a fundamental option in his squad so early on in his tenure and one which could lead to some tense talks between him and the club’s owners having made the move back to the Premier League.

(Manuel Pellegrini during the pre-season friendly match between Wycombe Wanderers and West Ham United at Adams Park on July 14, 2018 in High Wycombe, England.

The 29-year-old may well attract attention from elsewhere and, as he made clear last summer, will not hesitate to force a move if he thinks it is in his interest, but the Hammers must ensure that he does not depart this summer.

Having strengthened in goal, in defence, in midfield and out wide, losing their best forward would be a bitter pill to swallow and would take West Ham right back to square one after a summer of promise.

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West Ham United

Should West Ham revisit interest in Gonzalo Martinez as Premier League rivals linger?

West Ham were linked with a move for the Argentine playmaker last summer.

Mathew Nash

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Everton, Tottenham and Southampton are all being linked with a move for Argentine playmaker Gonzalo ‘Pity’ Martinez by Italian source Calciomercato this week. The River Plate star looks set to finally make a move to Europe and has also been linked with Lazio, although his agent has denied contact with the Italian club.

If West Ham fans feel like they recognise that name it is with good reason. Last summer the Hammers were linked with signing the Argentine talent.

As reported by Argentine newspaper Jornal De Noticias, as relayed by Sport Witness last summer, West Ham were hopeful of signing the player if a deal to Sporting Lisbon fell through.

No move to Sporting happened and West Ham also did not sign him.

(Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

But that was last summer. This year the Hammers are throwing everything at a top-ten finish with some fantastic recruitment this term.

Manuel Pellegrini, who knows the South American market well, will surely know of Martinez’s talents and what he could bring to West Ham.

He would also be affordable. With a reported release clause of just €15 million (£13.3 million), he could be a bargain buy compared to European prices. He also holds an EU passport, negating the need for a work permit and could be an excellent alternative to Manuel Lanzini whilst his countryman is injured.

West Ham should seriously consider reigniting their interest in the Argentine maestro this summer.

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