West Ham missed out in their transfer pursuit of Uruguayan striker Maxi Gomez this summer. Now the player has explained why he chose to join Valencia above other interested parties.
As reported by The Guardian, West Ham were willing to pay €50 million (£45.1 million) to sign the player from Celta Vigo this summer.
However, he eventually chose Valencia, in a deal which saw Santi Mina head in the opposite direction.
He has now been speaking to the Spanish press about the day he made the decision to join Valencia. As reported by Plaza Deportiva, the 22-year-old admitted it was a tough choice but Champions League football convinced him to head to the Mestalla.
“It was a very tough day, I was in the Copa America and the interest of Valencia and West Ham was talked about, I had to be focused on Uruguay and I chose Valencia because it plays many important competitions.
“I had few vacations after the Copa América and then came to sign with Valencia. I dream of playing Champions League, like I did on Playstation.”
West Ham were clearly hoping that Gomez was going to be the replacement for Marko Arnautovic, who finally got his move to China this summer.
However, the lure of playing in Europe’s top competition was something West Ham simply could not combat.
It does seem that they have found a suitable replacement. Sebastien Haller has joined the club from Eintracht Frankfurt in a deal reported by The Guardian to be worth £45 million.
Of course, fans would have been hoping for a partnership between the pair. Hopefully, Haller can prove more than a match for what Gomez would have brought to West Ham.