In Focus: West Ham link to Matheus Jesus suggests they’ve given up on Carvalho

According to reports on Italian news outlet Calciomercato, West Ham United are among a whole host of clubs interested in signing Estoril midfielder Matheus Jesus, who is currently on loan with Brazilian side Santos.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Calciomercato says that Serie A outfit Fiorentina are leading the race to sign the 20-year-old and that they are willing to pay €3.5m (approximately £3.1m) to bring him to Florence during the January transfer window, but that fee is unlikely to be enough to convince the Portuguese club to sell.

Calciomercato says that Santos are keen to keep him in Brazil until at least the end of the season, but that hasn’t stopped West Ham, their Premier League rivals Watford, and Schalke all registering an interest in the Brazilian.

Why do West Ham want Jesus?

Irons boss Slaven Bilic was keen to bring in a defensive midfielder during the summer and had been keen on Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho, but a deal failed to materialise and the relationship between the two clubs is now strained following a number of disagreements and this latest rumour suggests that the east London outfit may have conceded defeat on their plan to bring him to the London Stadium.

Jesus is certainly in a similar mould to the Portugal international as he is a holding midfielder, stands at 6’1″ tall and is known for his powerful play and tackling.

According to WhoScored.com, his strengths include his ability to win balls in the air and his dribbling, which show that he would be able to make a difference with the ball going forward after winning it in the first place.

West Ham have certainly been missing something in the middle of the park this season already with the likes of Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate struggling, and looks certain to be a position they once again look to strengthen in the New Year.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, there seems to be little doubt that West Ham are still looking for a strong defensive midfielder and it would be no surprise if they were interested in Jesus, but they will have to fight off some strong competition for him.

The fact that a deal seems unlikely until next summer could put them off, though.