David Moyes must convince Manuel Lanzini to consider taking a pay cut in order to leave West Ham United in the summer, after Noel Whelan expressed concerns of a deal falling through.
Lanzini is reportedly eager to pursue the next stage of his career away from the London Stadium after struggling to establish himself under Moyes, and has been linked with clubs in Turkey and the Middle East.
West Ham are not expected to stand in the way of their Argentine playmaker, either, with the Hammers likely to look to move Lanzini on in a permanent deal for the third-straight window after setting a £15m asking price in January.
Lanzini has only started three of his 14 Premier League appearances and been left among the unused substitutes on 15 occasions this term, including eight of the Irons’ last 13 games.
Andre Villas-Boas was keen to sign Lanzini during the winter market but was denied by the Olympique de Marseille leadership, while Paris Saint-Germain were previously claimed to have shown an interest in the 28-year-old before Moyes blocked a Deadline Day deal.
And Whelan expects the Hammers will now struggle to find a suitor for Lanzini at the end of the season, as the five-cap maestro will still have two years to run on his lucrative £70,000-per-week contract.
“Look, I mean, it’s not easy with the epidemic. Clubs have lost money,” Whelan told Football Insider. “It’s not an easy one to get players out and command wages. Everyone’s trying to make a cut to keep their financial system and status in as happy a way as possible.
“That might mean they can’t pay out big wages to players that are already on big contracts. It’s not going to be an easy one to force players out of a club or find suitable buyers that have that amount of money that will match the players’ expectations.”
Whelan’s concerns are well placed, with market analyst KPMG claiming earlier in the year that 20 of Europe’s biggest clubs had lost in excess of €1bn (£863m) as a result of the pandemic, while around 10% had been taken off the average value of players.
With fans still locked out of stadiums, clubs will have continued to lose millions in gate revenue, which could see West Ham and Lanzini struggle to find a side willing to pay both what the Irons will request and a salary that the midfielder feels he deserves.
If Lanzini does want to pursue an adventure away from the London Stadium after spending the campaign on the fringes of Moyes’ plans, particularly after the mid-season arrival and form of Manchester United loanee Jesse Lingard, he may face some tough decisions.
One of those will undoubtedly be his wage and Moyes may have to step in to urge the 28-year-old to accept a pay cut in order to play regular football again, with the Hammers keen to retain Lingard long-term.
Signing Lingard on a permanent deal would all but slam the door shut for Lanzini to regain a prominent role in east London, where he has scored 22 times and offered 23 assists in 154 games across all competitions since his initial arrival on loan from Al-Jazira.
But as only one of his goals and three of his assists have come this season, Lanzini has become a “luxury” player in the opinion of Franck McAvennie – one that Moyes needs to see West Ham move on from when the campaign draws to a close.
AND in other news, West Ham have been rocked by a double injury blow ahead of hosting Chelsea…