David Moyes would jeopardise any hopes of West Ham United glory with a potential move for Sporting CP’s “powerful” rough diamond Jovane Cabral.
According to A Bola, the Irons remain interested in a potential deal to lure Cabral to the London Stadium having failed to secure the winger’s services this summer.
The Cape Verde international is widely sought-after with clubs in England, France and Germany all sounding out Cabral’s situation ahead of the January window, as discussions over a new contract continue to drag on.
Both parties are said to be miles apart in reaching an agreement to extend the 22-year-old’s deal, which currently features a €60million (£53.6m) release clause though Cabral was available for €35m (£31.3m) in the previous market.
But West Ham refused to match Sporting’s demands and allowed the Southampton, Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur target to remain at the Jose Alvalade Stadium, where Cabral has since recorded two goals and one assist in seven games across all competitions.
Sporting chiefs have met with Cabral’s representatives to discuss a new, long-term contract that features a better salary and a more lucrative release clause, but continue to be at loggerheads over key factors – namely the winger’s potential wage – despite a mutual willingness to commit.
Sporting entering negotiations with Cabral’s representatives after West Ham’s failed pursuit appeared to have given the east London outfit a narrow escape this summer, as his form since the market slammed shut has done little to suggest he would have improved Moyes’ squad.
Had West Ham matched Sporting’s demands of €35m, they would have been instantly regretting the decision as his arrival would jeopardise any hopes of Moyes making the Irons a successful side this season or in the immediate future.
The 22-year-old has only started four of his six Liga NOS appearances this term, in which he boasts a mere 0.7 shots per game, plus 0.9 key balls, 0.6 successful dribbles, 1.3 ground duels won, 9.7 accurate passes and is dribbled past 0.4 times, per SofaScore.
It took until the final Portuguese top-flight fixture before the November international break for Cabral to score his second of the season, too, having been benched after losing six of his eight ground duels, turning over possession 15 times, taking just one shot and making one successful dribble at home to Gil Vicente last month.
Moyes would have needed to see Cabral’s talent develop at a rate he does not appear capable of producing, despite former Sporting boss Jose Poseiro deeming the forward to be a rough diamond waiting to be polished.
“Ambition has, quality has, he is a powerful player who is not easy to find in football,” he told Antena 1 via quotes by Bancada. “He is evolving and at a good time. He is still learning but has potential for Sporting, for Portuguese and international football.
“Very early we realised that he had talent. He is a pearl, a diamond to be cut.”