West Ham United are reportedly interested in signing Maxime Gonalons this summer. As reported by France Football, the Hammers are ‘in contact’ regarding a deal for the player.
The Frenchman spent last season on loan at Sevilla and struggled in Spain. Two serious injuries limited Gonalons to just 10 La Liga appearances for the club.
It follows a recent trend for the 30-year-old. The eight-cap Les Bleus international has found it hard since leaving Lyon for Roma in 2017.
But prior to that, he was a highly rated commodity, thriving in the heart of Lyon’s midfield.
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini will know all about that.
Because Gonalons played a key role in one of Pellegrini’s toughest managerial periods.
The Frenchman was a part of the Lyon side that knocked Real Madrid out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage in 2010. Then an emerging youngster, he came on in the second leg for Jean Makoun as a goal from Miralem Pjanic allowed Lyon to draw 1-1 on the night at the Bernabeu and complete a 2-1 aggregate triumph.
After the game, it seemed Pellegrini was set for the sack at Real. The Champions League was a major target after Real had just spent huge sums of money on the likes of Xabi Alonso, Kaka, and Cristiano Ronaldo that summer.
In the end, Pellegrini survived but failure to win La Liga gold eventually saw him sacked that summer.
Gonalons played a small part in that downfall. Nine years later, Pellegrini might be ready to give him a chance to recapture his best at West Ham.