It appears as if West Ham are going to have to pay up for one of their key transfer targets this summer after recent reports suggested that a recent bid wasn’t enough.
According to Marca, River Plate rejected the Hammers’ €7m (£6.4) advances for right-back Gabriel Montiel last month and now the in-demand international is wanted by Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04.
It’s claimed that the 23-year-old has a release clause of around €20m (£18m) and that River only holds 80% of the player with the remaining 20% being claimed by Montiel’s family and representatives.
The Irons have long been mooted with interest in the 5 foot 9 defender having also approached him during the January transfer window.
Montiel has recently broken into the Argentina squad after a solid season at River, where he has averaged two tackles, 1.3 clearances, 1.2 interceptions, 1.1 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per game this season – via WhoScored.
David Moyes could well be in need of a new right-back following the departures of veteran Pablo Zabaleta and emerging starlet Jeremy Ngakia meanwhile there are question marks over the fitness of Ryan Fredericks long-term and the Premier League suitability of youngster Ben Johnson.
Manuel Lanzini has even advocated to sign him, claiming he “would fit in well” and that “the coach [Moyes] likes him.”
With their top-flight safety now confirmed, GSB must sanction a swoop for Montiel if they are going to have a chance of progression next season.
The Argentine is a far greater threat going forward than Fredericks, who averages a measly 0.4 dribbles and 0.6 crosses per game – and that’s when he’s actually fit to feature.
AND in other news, GSB can’t afford to sell Moyes’ resurgent £45m STAR this summer…