That’s according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, who revealed that the 23-year-old is seemingly set to join Bundesliga side Stuttgart, with the Hammers said to have been “never close” to securing his signature.
The transfer guru stated on Twitter: “Dan-Axel Zagadou is set to sign with Stuttgart on free transfer — he will undergo medical tests next week, the agreement is imminent. Zagadou was never close to joining West Ham despite rumours — he’s prepared to stay in Bundesliga.”
Recent reports had suggested that east Londoners were in “talks” to sign the 6 foot 5 colossus on a free transfer – following his exit from Dortmund at the end of last season – with the centre-back having also been linked with a move to England over the summer.
Amid the Irons’ dismal start to the new season – with five defeats from seven in the league thus far – manager David Moyes could well have done with the boost of a new addition, despite having already completed eight major deals in the recent window.
Even with those incomings, the London Stadium outfit have still appeared somewhat short of quality in their defensive ranks, with summer signing Nayef Aguerd having been struck down by injury before even kicking a ball competitively, ensuring a potentially lengthy stint on the sidelines for the £30m man.
Veteran ace Angelo Ogbonna is only just being eased back into the fold after missing the majority of last term with an ACL issue, while there are also concerns regarding a potential degenerative knee injury for regular starter, Kurt Zouma.
Equally, Craig Dawson has made just two appearances so far this term after suffering a thigh injury in pre-season – while he was also close to a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers over the summer – and new signing Thilo Kehrer is still finding his feet after his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain.
That raft of issues has left Moyes and co with a number of defensive concerns that Zagadou could well have helped to ease, albeit with the former France U21 international also having endured injury woes of his own in recent seasons.
When he has been fit, the “outstanding” ace – as dubbed by former boss Lucien Favre – has caught the eye as a result of his impressive stature and strength in the air, as he notably ranks in the top 1% among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues with regards to aerial duels won.
Also comfortable in possession, the £8.1m-rated man – who can also feature at left-back – ranks in the top 9% for progressive carries and the top 8% for progressive passes, showcasing his ability to initiate attacks from deep.
Such a powerful and composed asset could well have provided the Hammers with real additional quality, with the club now likely to have to wait until January, at least, if they are to bolster their defensive ranks sufficiently.