West Ham United have been given the green light to bring Argentinian midfielder Santiago Ascacibar to the London Stadium as David Moyes looks to add another new face to the squad.
That’s according to journalist Adriano Savalli, who tweeted: “West Ham started formal talks for Santiago Ascacíbar. They are expected to submit a written offer shortly to begin negotiations. Also interested in teams from Spain and Italy. Hertha Berlin, in principle, intends €12m (£10m).”
A fee of €12m (£10m) is what Hertha Berlin wants for the player, but the side faces competition from teams in Spain and Italy.
West Ham were first interested in Ascacibar back in 2019 following an impressive spell at Stuttgart, but they now seem ready to finally make their move.
The move could go ahead a lot smoother than anticipated due to the player declaring that he wants to leave Hertha Berlin, saying: “I really want a change of scenery. I don’t know where, but I’m sure I want to change.”
This will give Moyes all the motivation he needs to make the move happen and he could continue the Premier League side’s impressive recruitment during this transfer window.
The club have spent close to £50m already bringing in Nayef Aguerd, Alphonse Areola and Flynn Downes thus far, but more arrivals are expected.
The 25-year-old mainly operates as a defensive midfielder, but can also play further forward if required and with West Ham losing Mark Noble to retirement and the future of Tomas Soucek uncertain, another midfielder would be a welcome addition to the side.
Having been described as a player who is “absolutely everywhere”, as well as Moyes could land himself a bargain in the Argentinian.
Compared to positional peers in the big five European leagues, Ascacibar ranks in the top 15% for pressures per match (23.49) and in the top 3% of tackles (3.64), displaying his defensive qualities last season.
In 28 Bundesliga appearances last season, Ascacibar made 1.5 interceptions, 3.3 tackles and 1.4 clearances per match, as well as winning over half of his total duels (53%).
As such, it is easy to see why Javier Mascherano claimed he could see shades of himself in the 25-year-old battler, as the Herta star very looks to be the former West Ham midfielder incarnate – something that is sure to be an incredibly exciting thought for both the London Stadium faithful and Moyes alike.