West Ham manager David Moyes is trying to bring in more attacking talent on transfer deadline day to help his fifth-place side, who are also competitive in Europe
West Ham have turned their attention to Darwin Nunez of Benfica after Leeds refused to sell their brilliant Brazilian Raphinha.
Hammers boss David Moyes is trying to bring in more attacking talent on deadline day to help his fifth-place side, who are also in Europe.
He was hot on Raphinha and willing to pay up to £50million for the star who has so far refused to sign a new deal at Elland Road.
But Leeds officials insist Raphinha is staying with them at least until after the World Cup next winter when they could cash in next January if his contract is still up in 2024.
West Ham’s new recruitment chief Rob Newman is now pulling up other options for Moyes.
These include Uruguay forward Nunez, 22, who was a target for Newcastle earlier this month after scoring 18 goals for his Portuguese club.
But Benfica, who are still in the Champions League, will only consider huge bids in excess of £50m.
The move has also been complicated by a row among rival agents over the deal behind the scenes.
Raphinha, 25, has been a smash hit at Elland Road since joining in October 2020 from Rennes for £17million.
He got six goals last term and has another eight this season, plus two assists.
Raphinha recently played for Brazil in a 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw with Ecuador with the South Americans top of their qualifying group.
The Hammers were hoping to tempt him with the lure of European football and a bumper contract.
But while Raphinha has been considering his options, he has told pals he is not ready to force a move this month.
It has left the Hammers considering their options upfront.
These also include Reims striker Hugo Ekitike, 19, who has eight goals and two assists this term in France.
And Czech hot-shot Patrik Schick who already has a trio of compatriots at West Ham, where Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal and Alex Kral all play.