West Ham remain in talks to sign Maxi Gomez from Celta Vigo, according to The Daily Mail.
The Hammers are seeking a striker in the January transfer window as doubts persist over Marko Arnautovic’s future, and have identified Gomez as a potential addition.
The Hammers have received a bid from China for Arnautovic this month, with Shanghai SIPG tabling an offer worth around £35million, as per the BBC.
The Daily Mail report claims that the Irons are laying the groundwork for Arnautovic’s potential departure, having held talks with Celta over the possibility of signing Gomez in the summer.
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They felt that the Spanish club, who are just a point above the La Liga relegation zone, were demanding too much for the striker, who is valued at around £40m.
Gomez has scored nine goals and provided five assists thus far this season, per Transfermarkt, and is seen as a direct replacement to Arnautovic, who could still leave the club.
West Ham are right to prepare for the potential departure of Arnautovic.
The Irons saw Dimitri Payet leave the club for Marseille in 2017 and were subsequently unable to replace him adequately.
However, the signing of Gomez would do a lot to quell any potential unrest from the club’s fans if the Austrian does, indeed, force his way out of the club.
Gomez is not a proven Premier League striker but his price is such that he is affordable for the Irons, particularly if the club receives an improved bid from Shanghai for Arnautovic.
He has played consistently for Celta this season and has enjoyed a prolific campaign, scoring against the likes of Atletico Madrid and Villarreal.
He would be able to slot straight into Manuel Pellegrini’s XI, and the decision will ultimately lie with the former Manchester City boss when it comes to both incomings and outgoings.
Nevertheless, he should be impressed that the club’s board is doing everything they can to ensure he is not left short in a key position as the Irons continue to chase qualification for the Europa League.