West Ham United have been dealt a major setback in their bid to bring Lucas Digne to the London Stadium in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by talkSPORT, who claim that the Everton left-back has agreed personal terms with Aston Villa ahead of a £25m move to Steven Gerrard’s side, with the 28-year-old looking set to sign a long-term deal at Villa Park.
Previous reports had suggested that West Ham were also keen on a move for the France international this month, with David Moyes’ side even being said to have opened talks with the defender, however, Digne’s £119k-per-week wages were believed to have been something of a stumbling block for the Hammers in an unfortunate twist to the tale.
Considering just how impressive Digne has been for Everton since his £18m move to Goodison Park back in 2018, in addition to the fact that Aaron Cresswell’s recent injury highlighted West Ham’s lack of strength in depth at left-back, the news that Aston Villa look to have beaten the East London side to the signing of the 28-year-old is sure to have left the London Stadium faithful outraged.
Indeed, over his 113 Premier League appearances for the Toffees, the £27m-rated man has scored four goals and registered 18 assists, as well as earning seasonal SofaScore match ratings of 7.33, 7.15 and 7.13 in his three full seasons at the club – ranking him as the Blues’ best performer in both 2018/19 and 2019/20, as well their second-best player in 2020/21.
These returns compare rather well to those Cresswell has managed over his own 237 Premier League outings for West Ham, with the 32-year-old left-back scoring nine goals and registering 27 assists for the Hammers in the top flight.
As such, when taking into account the Frenchman is four years Cresswell’s junior, Digne would very much have looked to be a fantastic signing for the East London side, with the 28-year-old appearing to be an excellent candidate to eventually replace the former Ipswich Town defender on the left of Moyes’ back four.
However, with it now seeming more than likely that Digne will be linking up with Gerrard at Villa Park, the 58-year-old Hammers manager will have to turn his attention elsewhere in the transfer market should he wish to bring in a new left-back this month – an outcome that will undoubtedly come as a gutting blow for everyone involved with the club.