West Ham United have made an attempt to sign New York Red Bulls centre-back Aaron Long on loan, as reported by Sky Sports.
The Hammers offered an initial $500,000 (£382,000) loan fee, with an option to buy the 27-year-old in the summer for $4.5m (£3.4m), though that has been rejected by the MLS outfit.
This follows on from a failed summer pursuit of the USMNT player, in which there were problems for Long in getting a work permit to complete his Premier League move.
The misfortune regarding that deal does not seem to have discouraged West Ham though, considering they have come back in with another attempt to bring him in.
Long played 25 MLS games for NYRB last season, recording two goals throughout the campaign.
He did produce some relatively impressive statistics during the 2019 season, making 1.1 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 5.3 clearances and 0.8 blocks per game.
However, this move does feel rather unimaginative from West Ham’s point of view, especially when the summer’s struggles are considered.
The initial move was made after his announcement as MLS Defender of the Year for 2018, as reported by the league’s official website. This was part of a campaign in which the defender helped the Red Bulls to a then-record 71 points to win the Supporters’ Shield while conceding a league-low of just 33 goals in 34 games.
While it has already been established that Long put in some steady performances the following campaign, it was nowhere near as spectacular, as the team finished sixth in the Eastern Conference, before being knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.
This indicates that Long is not on much of an upward trajectory, which should be pretty concerning for West Ham considering they are looking to sign a 27-year-old from a lesser league.
Overall, the proposed loan doesn’t show much imagination from the club’s scouting department and recruiters.