West Ham target Aaron Long hopeful of deal being done

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

West Ham United target Aaron Long is hopeful of securing a move to the club before Thursday’s transfer deadline, per Sky Sports.

What’s the word?

The report claims that the Hammers are keen to sign the New York Red Bulls defender, who has a £4m release clause in his contract.

However, they have yet to obtain a work permit ahead of the transfer, the report claims, but Long has expressed his desire to move to England and hopes the matter can be resolved by Thursday’s deadline.

He said: “As our biggest ally, it seems strange that a football player from the US can’t automatically get a work visa to play in England.

“Every kid in the USA dreams of playing in the English Premier League. Not many players get the chance, so of course, I would like to play there someday.”

Premiership Picks

A considered punt

This is a bit of a risky move from the Hammers but there needs to be an investment in the backline.

Few fans will be aware of who Long is, such is the stature of MLS football, but he was named the MLS Defender of the Year for 2018 and is also a full United States international.

He has won 11 caps for his country, scoring two goals, and is a cheap option in an inflated transfer market.

Indeed, the Hammers have struggled to keep the goals out in pre-season, conceding 12 in six games against Altach, Manchester City, Newcastle United, Fulham, Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao.

With a clash with Pep Guardiola’s champions set to kick off their 2019/20 season, Manuel Pellegrini’s defence needs all the help it can get.

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