West Ham: Odegaard deal in 48 hours; 17-year-old transfer battle; Bilic speaks strikers
French sources report that a deal for Real Madrid’s 17-year-old Martin Odegaard will be completed within 48 hours as the Spanish club look to push through a deal as soon as possible. West Ham are among a dozen clubs who are said to have made an offer, and whilst most reports indicate that the Norwegian would prefer a move to Liverpool, it is believed that his club will decide his destination, with West Ham’s offer of first team and European football being a tempting option to aid his development.
Odegaard has failed to live up to expectations following his move to Real Madrid having been courted by many of the world’s biggest clubs, and Zinedine Zidane now feels that he must leave on loan to secure the first team football that he cannot be guaranteed at the Bernabeu. The midfielder is happy to go along with those wishes and looks set to depart on loan.
The Hammers also face another transfer battle in the hunt for 17-year-old forward Josip Maganjic. The Croatian has one year left on his Hadjuk Split contract and is being chased by the Irons and Fiorentina claim Sky Italia. The forward is most certainly one for the future having made his debut, and only first team appearance, towards the end of last season, but he has been capped at several youth levels by his country and is very highly rated in Croatia.
West Ham are hoping that Slaven Bilic, the former national team manager, will be able to sway Maganjic into moving to London, rather than Italy. The Hammers have made several similar signings this summer, ensuring that there are provisions for the long term future for the club with a number of highly rated youngsters heading to the Olympic Stadium from across Europe. Whilst the impact may not be seen just yet, Bilic’s strategy could prove to be a huge success in the coming years.
Bilic has also spoken out on the club’s transfer hunt for a striker, particularly with reference to a move for Michy Batshuayi, who instead signed for Chelsea for £33 million, a move that Bilic has labelled as “impossible” according to the Evening Standard. He said:
We tried to get at the beginning one of the top strikers of the moment and they opted for a bigger club and also better money of course, but at the end we bought what we wanted to, I’m happy.
Bilic is believed to be happy with “game changer” Andre Ayew alongside Jonathan Calleri, and is determined to keep hold of Andy Carroll, but does not foresee any more additions to the Hammers front line before the transfer window slams shut at the end of this month. The club now seem to have secured most of their top priorities for this window, and whilst speculation persists that the club are seeking to bring in reinforcements in midfield, most of the club’s business this summer seems to be done.
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