West Ham United are closing in on the £24m signing of Pablo Fornals from Villarreal, Football FanCast can confirm.
Multiple sources have claimed that a deal to secure the attacking midfielder’s signature has accelerated over the past 24 hours and that the club are now confident of announcing the transfer in the next few days.
And Football FanCast can confirm that a deal has been struck between the two clubs, which will see the Hammers pay £24m for the 23-year-old, a player for whom Manuel Pellegrini has explicitly asked.
Co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan are determined to deliver the manager the targets that he has requested and a move for Fornals is a key part of that strategy.
A full Spain international who has won two caps for his country, he scored five goals and registered six assists in all competitions in 2018/19.
A bid for Celta Vigo’s Stanislav Lobotka, a deeper-lying midfielder, had been mooted but the Irons cooled that interest after the cost spiralled and they discovered that they would not be able to sign both the Slovakia international and his team-mate, Maxi Gomez, for under £60m.
West Ham’s Director of Football, Mario Husillos, has driven the signing of Fornals, and there is a confidence at this stage that the deal is all but done.
He has yet to sign his contract but sources expect that to be a formality. It would be a surprise were the move to fall through at this stage.
It remains to be seen how the Hammers will approach the remainder of their summer business but their interest in Gomez remains strong and the club would also like to acquire a defender.
Along with Gomez, the club have scouted Salomon Rondon at West Bromwich Albion – he spent the season on loan at Newcastle United – and Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic.