West Ham have been pursuing Felipe Anderson for the last few weeks, with it looking increasingly likely the Brazilian will end up joining the ranks at the London Stadium.
However, the latest reports from the Mirror are suggesting Lazio are demanding £35 million for the player, which is proving something of a stumbling block for the Hammers.
Perhaps Manuel Pellegrini should begin enquiring for alternatives, as the pursuit for Anderson continues to throw up new issues on a daily basis.
First the 25-year-old’s wages proved caused an issue, followed by Lazio’s desire for a sell-on clause to be inserted in any deal, and now the asking price has reportedly rocketed from £29 million to £35 million.
It’s not worth ending negotiations at this early stage, but there’s no harm in looking into alternatives, and the opportunity for a better deal may come along.
As such, Pellegrini should reach out to Bayer Leverkusen over the possibility of signing the man preferred to Leroy Sane in the German World Cup squad, Julian Brandt.
Formerly a winner of the Fritz-Walter Gold Medal – awarded to the most talented players in Germany – Brandt has been producing quality performances for a long-time in the Bundesliga despite being just 22.
Leverkusen snapped up the starlet from the Wolfsburg youth ranks, who was playing Champions League football against the likes of Paris Saint Germain at just 17. And he notably collected a winners medal at the European U19 Championship.
Brandt plays on the left similarly to Anderson and employs a similar style, using his powerful running and quick feet to trouble defences.
Now boasting 32 goals and 34 assists in 172 appearances for Leverkusen, he has also chalked up 15 international caps – three of which came in the FIFA Confederations Cup triumph, and he looks to be constantly improving.
His impact was almost instant for Germany against Mexico yesterday as his volley rifled past Guillermo Ochoa agonisingly wide just minutes after coming off the bench, and teams the world over will be monitoring the youngster throughout the rest of the competition.