David Moyes should urge West Ham United to sign Hans Vanaken in the summer, after it was revealed that the Club Brugge midfielder was flattered by their previous interest.
According to Voetbal 24, Vanaken was charmed by the Hammers’ efforts to sign him last year and would now consider a move to the London Stadium. The 28-year-old opted to remain in his native Belgium at the time of the Irons’ pursuit as the Blauw-Zwart rewarded him with a bumper new contract.
However, he no longer feels as appreciated at the Jan Breydel Stadium after a somewhat daunting campaign under Philippe Clement, and would explore the idea of a move away.
The prospect of life in London had appealed to Vanaken and his wife before he put pen to paper on a £35,000-per-week contract, which saw the nine-cap maestro commit his future to Club Brugge through to 2025.
Offers of €20m (£17m) would be enough to prise Vanaken away from the Blauw-Zwart’s clutches, although West Ham could face strong competition in any revived efforts, with several Premier League sides now scouting the Lommel United product.
Vanaken particularly piqued the interest of a wealth of English suitors with his impressive display against Belarus on Tuesday, after striking his first international goals and complementing the brace with an assist.
While West Ham are not cited as one of the clubs interested in a move for Vanaken this summer, Moyes should urge the London Stadium hierarchy to revive their prior efforts given the 28-year-old’s current position on his Club Brugge future.
Reports by Het Laatste Nieuws, via Sport Witness, claimed that the Irons lodged offers in excess of €15m (£13m) for Vanaken entering the final stages of the transfer market, but the Blauw-Zwart were firm in their position and made a statement by agreeing to a new contract.
Club Brugge also argued that the timing of the offer left them with no chance of signing a replacement, although the fee presented on its own did not satisfy their valuation.
Vanaken’s new deal would have come as a huge blow for Moyes at the time, as the playmaker was described as his ‘dream’ signing to add to a West Ham side that Said Benrahma was about to join on his initial loan deal from Brentford.
There was little wonder why Moyes was so keen to sign Vanaken as well, with Sporza commentator Frank Raes waxing lyrical over the Belgian following a 17-goal, three-assist campaign which saw the 28-year-old captain Club Brugge home and away to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.
“He has been one of the finest footballers in [the] Belgian league for several years,” Raes said, via quotes shared by Medium. “Hans has good feet, is strong with the head, has insight and also his running and scoring ability are of high-quality.”
Journalist Peter Vandenbempt added: “Vanaken gets better every year. He has everything Club Brugge wants: vision, technique, the right mentality and scoring ability.”
Given Moyes’ previous position on Vanaken being a dream signing, the Scottish coach should be all over the midfielder reconsidering his long-term Club Brugge future.