After news of Andre Ayew’s hamstring tear emerged, and that he will miss at least four months of the season, speculation linked the Hammers with a move for Germany forward Mario Gomez, but those hopes have now been dashed as the 31-year-old signed for Wolfsburg. The Express claim that he turned down the Irons in favour of a return to the Bundesliga, where he previously played for champions Bayern Munich.
Having scored 26 league goals to fire Besiktas to the Turkish league title last season, Gomez proved that he still has the ability and was hoped to be the prolific marquee signing that Slaven Bilic has been hoping for all summer. Having signed for a fee believed to be around £6 million, he was certainly within the club’s price range, but his desire for Champions League football is believed to be the motivation for him favouring a move to Wolfsburg over joining the London Stadium outfit.
It is a similar story in the case of Carlos Bacca, as the Colombian has confirmed that he will be staying at AC Milan in a statement, say the Express. Here, he confirmed that his desire to play in the Champions League was why he turned down the Hammers:
There were some teams that wanted to sign me, but in the end I have decided to stay and I am happy with my decision. Now I just want to work to be ready for the kick-off of the season. Having the chance to play in Europe is very important for me, and that’s one of the reasons that I thought of leaving AC Milan for a team that plays in the Champions League.
It is a frustrating blow for the club, having spent most of the summer trying to persuade the Milan forward to come to London. However, there will be a degree of relief that Bacca has now confirmed his intentions and the deal can be put to bed, rather than continuing with the prolonged negotiations which have been ongoing over the past months.
The club’s negotiators won’t have any time to rest though, with prized asset 17-year-old Reece Oxford reportedly open to signing a new contract after receiving assurances that he will play an important role for the first team this season, claim the Daily Mail. With Manchester City and Manchester United said to have been chasing the central defender this summer, it would be a statement of intent for the future of the club can secure his long term future with a new contract.
Up to now, the Hammers have been reluctant to make a new offer to the England under-19s captain, despite only having two years left to run on his current deal. This has led to tension with the youngster, who feels he deserves a contract to match his £15 million valuation and first team role in Slaven Bilic’s squad. Now, this will be a priority for bosses to resolve to ensure that Oxford continues to develop at West Ham and is not lured away by one of the Manchester clubs.
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