Much has been made of the Jonathan Calleri’s protracted transfer to West Ham, but it appears to be inching forward.
The Argentine has been on the radar of Inter Milan and Tottenham, amongst others, but the Hammers seem to have won the race for the Sao Paulo ace.
It is believed Calleri wanted to join manager and compatriot Jorge Sampaoli at Sevilla, but West Ham offered more money… well, according to Esporte.
Tottenham had him in their sights as far back as March this year, but West Ham didn’t enter the race until June. If reports are correct, then their man is on his way to London for a medical. One over on the Spurs.
The 22-year-old made his name at Boca Juniors and is seen as a rising star. However, there were problems with this transfer. One of those issues appears to have been resolved, as the Argentine was non-EU, but in the past few days, due to Italian ancestry, he has been granted an Italian passport, so one hurdle was crossed.
Another is that after the Carlos Tevez/Javier Mascherano affair of 2006, the club was extremely nervous of putting a deal together because the player’s registration is owned by an investment group, plus he belongs to Uruguayan club, Deportivo Maldonaldo. They bought the player in January this year and loaned him to Brazilian side, Sao Paulo for six months.
Now it seems as though the Hammers have secured a loan deal. Eight goals in 10 appearances have alerted clubs in Europe and the Olympic team. Calleri will be representing Argentina in Rio and that means that he will miss the start of the Premier League campaign.
It also means that Calleri has had no chance to have a pre-season or get to know his team-mates before the real action begins in August.
Calleri rejected a move to Chelsea during the winter because he wanted to stay in South America for a further six months, but the Argentine was in stunning form last season and bagged 21 goals to help Boca Juniors win the league and that led to scouts from Europe travelling to South America to watch him in action.
As plus points for West Ham, the Hammers already have an Argentine within their ranks in Manuel Lanzini, who was also called up to play for his country at Rio. So, as team-mates, the players already know each other, but other reports indicated Calleri talking to former West Ham favourite, Carlos Tevez.
David Sullivan is a known fan of the South Americans, largely because the deals, fees and wages are much lower than those of European players.
Despite the financial settlements, Calleri looks like a promising prospect and capable of goals wherever he goes and that’s something that West Ham were short of up front last year. Yet to make an appearance for Argentina, a call is not very far away.
West Ham fans will be hoping that David Sullivan can complete the deal on this occasion after the club failed to land any of its previous targets.