Manuel Pellegrini and West Ham have been clear in their desire to retain all of their top talents this summer, but with Barcelona now hovering around 18-year-old Domingos Quina, they may be left with no choice.
According to Sky Sports, the Spanish giants are keen on the Portuguese youth international and West Ham are prepared to do business for a fee of around £600,000.
The suggestion that West Ham would be willing to do business at such a low price appears to directly contradict the claims made by Slaven Bilic after the youngster signed a professional deal with the club in 2016.
“He is one of those players that you think if he doesn’t make it, then which player will? He has got everything and it is now down to us and up to him how much he is going to improve and dedicate his life to achieve something that God gave him. There is no doubt he has something exceptional. He is skilful and is one of those players who doesn’t have to think about his first touch because it comes so naturally to him. He is not afraid of challenges and has skill and vision.”
Despite that, it could make sense for the club to consider a deal. Quina would likely be desperate to make such a move and the club have already made it clear in previous negotiations with young players that they will not be held to ransom.
With just six first team appearances, Quina is yet to establish himself in the first team under Bilic or David Moyes and he is yet to join Pellegrini for training as he takes part in the Under 19 European Championships.
The attacking midfielder has been subject to interest before and so it is nothing new to the Hammers, but they clearly feel that now may be the time to sell. Coming up to a crucial moment in his career, Quina appears to be no closer to a first team breakthrough and has just a year left on his contract.
Having seen out his deal at Chelsea to join the Irons in 2016, West Ham bosses may fear such a situation arising again and will be concerned that Quina is demanding a clear pathway to first team football.
At the London Stadium, that does not appear possible at present given the overload of options in midfield after a summer of spending, and that could be what persuades Quina to force a move away.
It may be disappointing for West Ham fans to see such an exciting talent depart east London, but given the situation, it may appear that they have little choice.