West Ham United have seen their latest bid to bring Hans Vanaken to the London Stadium this summer rejected.
According to a report by the Evening Standard, despite David Moyes having seen both his opening £8m offer for the 29-year-old and his latest €11m (£9.2m) bid rejected by Club Brugge KV, the Hammers manager is nevertheless confident of getting a deal for the attacking midfielder over the line prior to September’s transfer deadline.
Revealing the club’s latest bid for the Belgium international in a post on Twitter, Fabrizio Romano stated his belief that West Ham will have to seriously up their offer for Vanaken should they wish to get a deal over the line, as the Jupiler Pro League side are believed to be holding out of a figure in the region of €20m (£17m) in order to sanction the playmaker’s sale.
However, while the reigning Belgian champions look as if they intend to play hardball in negotiations with the Premier League outfit, it would appear as if Vanaken himself is much more open to a switch to east London, with the 29-year-old stating after Brugge’s 2-1 win over KV Kortrijk last weekend:
“I’ve had seven seasons here, just started my eighth and the respect between me and the club is very high. That has been proven again today. That tifo was fantastic, I actually have no words for it. But it is clear that there is interest – enough has been written about it in the meantime. This is the last chance for me to take a step. I’ve already thought about it a lot and I want to do that.”
Considering just how weak West Ham currently are in attacking midfield – with Manuel Lanzini and Pablo Fornals being Moyes’ only out-and-out options in the position – coupled with how impressive Vanaken has been for Brugge, it is not difficult to understand why the 59-year-old manager is believed to be “crazy about” landing the Belgian sensation in the coming days.
With the Hammers being the only Premier League side yet to score in the league this season, it is evident that the Irons are in need of greater depth in their attacking arsenal – with Lanzini having been particularly underwhelming thus far in 2022/23.
Indeed, over his three league fixtures, the £10.8m-rated attacking midfielder has scored no goals, registered no assists and created no big chances for his teammates, as well as failing to make a single key pass, taking a total of two shots and completing no dribbles.
These returns have seen the £70k-per-week Argentina international average an extremely disappointing SofaScore match rating of just 6.47, ranking the 29-year-old as Moyes’ third-worst performer in the top flight of English football so far this season.
In comparison, over Vanaken’s five Jupiler Pro League fixtures in the current campaign, the £14.4m-rated attacking midfielder has highly impressed, scoring one goal and creating one big chance for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 2.8 key passes, taking 1.2 shots and completing 1.2 dribbles per game.
These returns have seen the player who Onur Kaya dubbed “extraordinary” average a quite remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.24, not only ranking him as Brugge’s fourth-best performer in the league but also as the 30th-best player in the Belgian top flight as a whole.
As such, despite the duo’s limited game time so far this season, it is clear to see that Vanaken has had a much greater impact on his side than Lanzini has at the London Stadium – leading us to believe that the 29-year-old would represent a big upgrade on the Argentine.