West Ham lead £10m race for transfer of Arsenal-linked goalkeeper Neto
According to Mundo Deportivo, West Ham United have taken the lead in the race to sign Barcelona goalkeeper Neto this summer amid claims of rival interest from Arsenal and Everton.
The Hammers are exploring Neto’s situation at the Camp Nou after his La Liga outfit decided that now should be the time to part ways with the 31-year-old, and look to blend youngsters Inaki Pena and Arnau Tenas into the senior fold.
Barcelona hope to make back around €12million (£10m) of the €26m (£22m) plus €9m (£8m) in add-ons paid to Valencia in 2019, as the sum would pay off the residual amount still owed.
West Ham pursuing a deal for Neto could see David Moyes go toe-to-toe with his former side Everton, who Sport last week claimed are interested in the Brazilian, while Mundo Deportivo suggested earlier in the month that Arsenal could revive their interest.
The Gunners sounded out Neto during the January window and may pursue him once again in the summer with Barcelona now looking to sell, having closed the door to a mid-season move as Ronald Koeman refused to be short of support for Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
But it is West Ham who are now thought to be showing the most interest, as Moyes strives to add a younger option to his ranks that currently consists of 36-year-old Lukasz Fabianski, 34-year-old Darren Randolph and 35-year-old David Martin ahead of competing in Europe.
The Irons believe another high-calibre shot-stopper will be needed to push Fabianski with Europa League football coming to the London Stadium next season, and may be able to sign Neto for less than the €16m (£14m) fee Sport suggested Carlo Ancelotti’s side were set.
Any side who signs Neto this summer is bound to get a determined shot-stopper, having cut nothing more than a fringe option at Barcelona where he played just 12 times this season in all competitions and only played one La Liga game from the end of October.
The 6 ft 2 titan kept a clean sheet on his return to league action on the final day of the season away to Eibar last weekend, marking his sixth shutout of the term having also kept Europa League finalists Villarreal at bay and Juventus from scoring in the Champions League.
A fee of around £10m would also seem good value for a player of Neto’s experience and quality, given he is unlikely to settle for just a seat on the bench and will be expected to challenge for the number one jersey at whichever side he joins.
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