Busy West Ham to land Manuel Lanzini on loan?
It looks like being a hectic summer at West Ham United (7/4 with Coral for a top 10 finish), with the east London club reportedly close to completing two further intriguing transfers, having already captured playmaker Dimitri Payet and dynamic midfielder Pedro Obiang.
Next up on new boss Slaven Bilic’s wishlist is rumoured to be Argentine attacking midfielder Manuel Lanzini, who the Hammers are thought to have been tracking for some time, before the 22-year-old switched to Al Jazira last summer.
Lanzini, nicknamed ‘the Jewel’, has excelled at the UAE club since arriving, making 24 appearances and notching eight strikes. This appears to have convinced the Upton Park outfit to make their interest concrete, and the Londoners are believed to have agreed terms to loan the adaptable attacker for the upcoming Premier League campaign.
An Argentina Under-20 international and product of the famed River Plate academy, Lanzini has hit two in five caps, but is yet to break into La Albiceleste’s senior squad.
See Lanzini in action:
The Hammers have had several Argentinian cult heroes grace the Upton Park turf before, including Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, though mercurial Mauro Zarate, still on the books in east London, has been considerably less successful. Fans will undoubtedly be hoping highly-rated Lanzini is capable of an impact similar to the former duo.
West Ham are also hoping to bolster their backline, having been buoyed already by Aaron Cresswell’s contract extension, and reports claim Italy international Angelo Ogbonna is ready to fly in for transfer talks.
The Hammers are likely to face stiff competition for the Juventus centre back’s signature, with Everton also said to be after the £8m-rated defender as a replacement for departed Sylvain Distin, who recently joined Premier League new boys Bournemouth.
However, having apparently been priced out of the market for centre half pair Aleksandar Dragovic and Aymen Abdennour, of Dynamo Kiev and Monaco respectively, West Ham (20/1 for a top six finish) must make sure they don’t miss out on the 10-capped Azzurri star.
Elsewhere at Upton Park, Bilic is also believed to be near to reinforcing his regard by recruiting Arsenal-owned right back Carl Jenkinson again on a season-long loan deal, while Barcelona midfield shield Alex Song is another target thought to be edging ever closer to a permanent move.