West Ham are facing a fight against time after they reportedly agreed a deal with Benfica for their goal machine striker Darwin Nunez.
The Hammers hierarchy are working hard in the dying embers of the January transfer window. They’ve had approaches for Leeds United pair Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips knocked back, and are still pursuing reinforcements in defence and attack.
They’ve found success with Nunez according to Sky Sports, who report a fee has been accepted by his Portuguese owners.
However, with a little over 24 hours to go until the winter deadline, it’s claimed that the deal will be difficult to complete.
That’s because the 22-year-old is currently on international duty with Uruguay for their South American World Cup qualifiers.
Liverpool and Newcastle have recently flown representatives out to the continent to complete transfers for Luis Diaz and Bruno Guimaraes respcetively.
It seems too late in the day for West Ham to do that, though. They could therefore miss out, which would be a hard pill to swallow for David Moyes.
The Scottish manager has been hunting for a new number nine since Sebastien Haller left east London over a year ago now.
And Nunez looks like the ideal candidate. He’s scored 20 goals in 26 appearances in all competitions this season.
Moyes does still have alternative options. One frontman he’s been heavily pursuing is Reims’ Hugo Ekitike, who has bagged eight times in 10 Ligue 1 matches.
But the French club want in excess of £25m for him, despite the fact that he is just 19 years old.
The Sky Sports report also adds that Toulouse forward Rhys Healey has now emerged as a potential target.
The 27-year-old Englishman would be a much cheaper option from Ligue 2 side Bordeaux.
West Ham close in on second deal
Meanwhile, West Ham are also close to completing the signing of Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car after compromises were made over the deal.
The Hammers have long been linked with the 25-year-old centre-half, with Moyes a big fan.
But they have been unable to agree terms on a proposed switch to the East End. The capital outfit were hoping to secure the giant stopper on a loan deal.
However, L’OM were only prepared to entertain offers on his permanent exit from Stade Velodrome. It was thought that would scupper West Ham’s chances of landing their target.
But French journalist Marc Mechenoua has now lifted the lid on the current state of affairs. Writing for Goal France, he suggests that three key elements in the deal have now been agreed…