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West Ham can finally replace Zabaleta with £18m summer raid

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.

What’s the word?

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.

Who should be starting RB for Moyes next season?

Ryan Fredericks

Ryan Fredericks

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

Gonzalo Montiel

Gonzalo Montiel

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.

Zabaleta replacement

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.”

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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

Article title: West Ham can finally replace Zabaleta with £18m summer raid

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