West Ham United are one of several clubs eyeing up a summer move for Nahitan Nandez this summer…
That’s according to Corriere dello Sport, who claimed that the Cagliari midfielder is attracting interest once again ahead of the upcoming transfer window, with the likes of Leeds United, Inter Milan and Napoli also keen.
It’s thought that the Uruguayan’s return to form means that it will be a challenge for the Serie A outfit to keep hold of him, especially as they very nearly suffered relegation this season.
Whilst no fee is mentioned in the report, fellow Italian news outlet Calciomercato reported earlier this month that the 25-year-old would command around €35m (£30m), whilst Transfermarkt values him at just £22.5m.
A new midfielder should probably be the least of the Irons’ priorities this summer, especially as David Moyes desperately needs additions to his frontline, but it would be hard to pass up on a player of Nandez’s quality.
With the Hammers possibly competing in Europe next season, the 58-year-old Scotsman will need strength in depth if his side are to mount another challenge at the top end of the Premier League table, on top of not disgracing themselves in the Europa League.
The 35-cap Uruguay international is a diminutive box-to-box midfielder at 5 foot 7 but that shouldn’t mislead you about his strength as he’s a tough-tackling beast in the engine room.
As per WhoScored, Nandez has averaged 1.8 tackles per game this season, on top of 1.2 dribbles, one shot and one key pass. He has even proven to be adept in the air despite his short stature, winning 1.8 aerial duels per match.
His agent Pablo Bentancur waxed lyrical about his client’s ability and, further adding to the player’s workmanlike nature, he told Calciomercato: “Nandez is certainly a great player. The fans always like him because he leaves the last drop of sweat on the pitch.”
It’s not the first time that the Hammers have been linked to the Uruguayan powerhouse either, as the ever-reliable ExWHUemployee revealed in January: “There’s a guy called Nahitan Nandez who plays for Cagliari, he’s 24, he’s a Uruguayan midfielder. I hear he’s a bit of an engine who gets up and down. He’s an option.”
Once described as a “total animal”, Nandez would be an interesting addition to Moyes’ already impressive midfield of Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek. His enigmatic presence would certainly offer a different threat as the West Ham duo are more physically imposing in the middle.
On the above evidence, he could be a dream partner to the England international as he has the ability to bring the ball forward, especially as he’s better than Soucek at doing so (0.4 key passes, 0.5 dribbles per game).
David Sullivan and co could create a formidable midfield duo by signing Nandez. It’ll be costly at £30m but it would be well worth pursuing if the Irons land themselves in Europe next term.