Pellegrini’s Silva lining
As widely reported earlier this week, West Ham have confirmed the capture of 21-year-old Portuguese striker Xande Silva from Vitoria and will slot straight into the club’s U23 side, with the announcement revealing he is expected to play a part in Friday’s friendly against Watford.
Silva will not immediately provide a boost to the first-team, and fans may not be entirely sure who he is, but it could be the move that allows Toni Martinez to become a senior player in Manuel Pellegrini’s side amidst speculation that Jordan Hugill will make way.
Maia makes it eight
Not content with signing seven players so far this summer, Pellegrini is reportedly set to take his spending beyond the £100m mark to capture Thiago Maia from Lille for a bargain fee of just £20m due to the French side’s financial woes, The Sun reports.
The holding midfielder would provide protection to a frail Hammers back-line that had the joint-worst defensive record in the Premier League last season and could end up being the signing of the summer for the east London outfit.
Plenty of players caught the eye this summer at the World Cup and one of those was Uruguay full-back Diego Laxalt, owned by Genoa, and his agent has been talking up the possibility of a transfer to the Premier League to join West Ham.
Signing the 25-year-old would complete Pellegrini’s bingo card for the summer after a full house has already seen the new Hammers boss land a goalkeeper, a central defender, a right-back, two wingers, a central midfielder and a striker.
“So many clubs, not only Italian but also foreign, there are rumours, Napoli and also West Ham are interested. They made a proposal, I know the sporting director [Husillos] and Pellegrini.”
With Andy Carroll sidelined through injury, Jordan Hugill tipped for an exit and Javier Hernandez struggling to remember how to score goals last season, it’s not at all surprising to see the Hammers linked with a striker late on in the window.
According to Marca, the man on West Ham’s agenda is 22-year-old Paraguay international Antonio Sanabria, who starred for Real Betis last season scoring eight goals in 17 matches to help the Andalusian side finish above arch-rivals Sevilla and land a spot in the Europa League.
Understandably, Betis want to retain the services of the highly-rated forward but are braced for offers before next Thursday’s transfer deadline.