West Ham United have been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of Gaetan Laborde after the Montpellier striker’s agent, Christophe Hutteau, stated he will not leave the Ligue 1 side this month.
While speaking with Explica, Hutteau has gone on record to say his client has no intentions of securing a mid-season transfer and will see out the 2020/21 campaign at the Stade de la Mosson.
Laborde is believed to be a target for Olympique de Marseille in the winter market after scoring six goals in 17 Ligue 1 appearances, while West Ham plus Bundesliga and Russian outfits have previously been linked.
Marseille value Laborde between €8m (£7m) and €10m (£9m) but face offering at least €15m (£13.5m) to seal a deal, with Montpellier in agreement with the forward and his representative that a summer separation better suits all parties.
“Gaetan’s first wish is to stay until the end of the season. This is the career plan we had set with President Laurent Nicollin. There is no intention of leaving this winter,” Hutteau said.
“If he stays, it will be anything but a disaster because he feels good in this club, where he continues to progress, where he takes pleasure.
“Now we can imagine that the club of Montpellier could say to itself ‘if there is a concrete offer, I find myself in the obligation to sell’. This can also be this situation, it is not to be excluded. There is nothing closed.”
Hutteau stating categorically that Laborde will remain with Montpellier until the summer will come as a huge blow for West Ham if the east London outfit were considering a move to sign the 26-year-old in the January window.
However, in bringing the former France U20 international to the London Stadium, David Sullivan would have left David Moyes scratching his head in the dugout as Laborde – who has provided a hand in 11 goals this season (six scored, five assisted) – has displayed all the characteristics that left the Scottish coach seething last month.
“I thought the biggest thing tonight was that we had a great chance to go two or three up, maybe even more,” said Moyes, via quotes by football.london, following the 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United.
“We played really well but we didn’t kill it off when we had the chance to do so, show a clinical edge to our finishing or our final pass which was needed. I think that was what cost us tonight.”
Laborde would likely have not fared any better, having taken the second-most shots by any player in Ligue 1 thus far this term with 47 efforts in 17 games, yet only directing 22 on target and six into the back of the net, per WhoScored.
He’s further offered only 1.1 key passes a game, wins 50% of his aerial duels, completes 51% of his attempted dribbles and takes an unsuccessful touch every 37.1 minutes.
West Ham are in need of additional goalscorers with no Premier League side above the Irons in the table scoring fewer goals than Moyes’ men thus far, but Laborde may not have been the answer and this huge blow may actually prove to be a lucky break.
AND in other news, David Moyes must consider a drastic U-turn on £18m-rated West Ham “monster”…