David Sullivan must convince AS Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez to accept a January transfer to West Ham United after he reportedly rejected the Premier League side’s interest.
According to Forza Roma, Lopez has a string of admirers outside of Italy during the mid-season market but has no intentions of quitting his Serie A side.
The Irons are believed to have presented the £75,000-per-week shot-stopper with an offer to join David Moyes’ squad this month, but the proposal was thrown out by Giallorossi chiefs as they are prepared to accept Lopez’s decision to stay.
West Ham’s offer is believed to have been a half-season loan with an obligation to buy dependant on Lopez’s number of appearances.
Other Premier League and La Liga clubs have also put forward their interest in the 26-year-old during the January window to no avail, with the £9m-rated colossus steadfast in staying at the Stadio Olimpico and fighting to regain the number one jersey from Antonio Mirante.
Lopez has started five of Roma’s last seven Serie A fixtures after spending the opening months on the bench, having been granted a recall with veteran ‘keeper Mirante currently struggling with a biceps femoris muscle injury.
Sullivan must not let Lopez’s initial refusal to join West Ham stop the Irons co-owner and Chairman from revisiting the two-time Spain international’s situation this month, as he can secure Moyes’ long-term heir to 35-year-old Lukasz Fabianski in the Roma goalie.
Lopez’s stock has fallen significantly in the past 12 months following his decision to join Roma in 2019, as a mistake in the Giallorossi’s 1-1 draw with rivals SS Lazio a year ago is widely seen to be the route cause of their season collapsing and something he is yet to recover from.
The former Real Betis shot-stopper’s issues have seen his TransferMarkt valuation plummet from a career-high £21.5m in December 2019 to his current figure of £9m, in a decline that is yet to stagnate.
Lopez has a chance to prove himself in Italy again while Mirante is injured, and is already showing glimpses of his abilities with an average of 2.7 saves per league game with a 73% shots faced success rate, while being successful in each of his runs out to date, per SofaScore.
Fabianski is currently boasting 3.1 saves per game in the Premier League this season, where he prevents 70% of all shots faced from finding the net, and has also been successful with each of his runs out to date, showing the level of talent Sullivan needs to discover in the Poland international’s eventual replacement.