West Ham United have their sights set on an alternative signing to Jesse Lingard this summer…
According to the Daily Express, the Irons have identified West Brom star Matheus Pereira as a potential target should they not seal the 28-year-old on a permanent deal from Manchester United.
The East London side aren’t the only one eyeing the Brazilian playmaker, with Premier League rivals Leicester City and Leeds United also keen along with Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.
His asking price is likely to exceed £20m, according to Baggies reporter Joseph Chapman, who wrote in a recent BirminghamLive column: “He’s got the majority of his career, you’d like to think, ahead of him. You’d be disappointed if the club weren’t asking for £20-25m for him.”
Lingard’s future at the London Stadium is shrouded in mystery heading into the summer and according to the Daily Mail, the Hammers may struggle to meet his salary demands for a four-year deal in the region of £100k-per-week.
The 28-year-old has undoubtedly been a revelation to David Moyes and his squad, providing nine goals and three assists in just 13 appearances but you do have to wonder if he can keep it up without that point to prove next season as these have been his best returns in the Premier League for quite some time.
It is also likely to cost the Irons around the same amount of money at £25m.
£25m on a 28-year-old or £25m on a 25-year-old? The latter is certainly going to give GSB more bang for their buck, even potentially earning them some profit in the future.
Perhaps West Ham should be considering a move for Pereira instead.
In a struggling Albion squad, he has delivered ten goals and five assists, proving he is more than capable in the English top-flight following an impressive debut campaign and continuing on from 24 goal contributions in the Championship last term.
He would also offer Moyes plenty of versatility, having been deployed through the middle and out wide.
Earlier this season, Jermaine Jenas waxed lyrical about his ability, claiming to Match of the Day: “He’s just silky. When he’s on it, he’s just got that lovely left-foot.”
This has echoed the sentiments of Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards, who heaped praise on Pereira back in September.
“I watched him a lot in the Championship last season, wondering if he can do it in the Premier League, and he showed me in the last couple of games that he definitely can. He’s just an absolute delight to watch,” he said.
Also once lauded as a “genius,” the Baggies sensation would certainly be a viable alternative to Lingard and given his performances this season and cheaper wages (around £30k-per-week), he could even be the better long-term option to target in the summer.