West Ham United have seen a second offer rejected in their attempts to bring Valentin Castellanos to the London Stadium in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Italian media outlet TuttoMercatoWeb (via Sport Witness), who claimed that, after seeing an initial €8m (£6.7m) offer for the New York City FC centre-forward refused by the Major League Soccer side, West Ham subsequently submitted an improved €10m (£8.5m) bid for the 23-year-old.
However, the report added that this offer has also been refused by the American club, and at present it is unclear whether David Moyes and Rob Newman will make a third bid for the Argentina under-23 international.
Considering just how impressive Castellanos was for New York City last season, the 23-year-old would very much appear to be a perfect alternative to another of West Ham’s reported attacking targets this month, namely Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa.
Indeed, over his 35 MLS appearances last year, the £6.3m-rated striker was in astonishing form for Ronny Deila’s side, scoring a whopping 22 goals, registering eight assists and creating eight big chances for his team-mates, as well as taking 4.1 shots and making 1.1 key passes per game.
Furthermore, Pep Guardiola is also clearly a huge fan of the Argentine striker, with the Manchester City manager stating of Castellanos: “I think he is a guy whose next step will be in Europe. What I’ve seen, and when the scouting department talk to me, I think he is a quality player ready to make the next step. We will see where.”
As such, while NYCFC seem to be playing hardball regarding the future of the 23-year-old this month, it would appear that a deal for Castellanos will nevertheless be much cheaper to get over the line than the club’s 18-month loan and €30m (£25m) option-to-buy offer which is currently on the table for Gabigol.
Also, when taking into account the Argentine’s goalscoring record in the MLS last season, he could well be just as promising a coup as his Brazilian counterpart in any case.