West Ham have reportedly made a big money move for Flamengo midfielder Gustavo Cuellar, according to Brazilian journalist Gustavo Henrique.
Henrique, who works for Sau Paulo-based radio station FootballGlobono, broke the news on his personal Twitter account. He claimed that the Irons will pay up to £24million for Cueller over three installments, but the midfielder is yet to sign a contract with the Hammers.
O meia Cuéllar deve assinar contrato com o West Ham, em Julho, depois da Copa América. Está tudo acertado mas nada assinado até aqui. Jogador receberá 2 milhões de euros de luvas, e 28 milhões de euros serão pagos em 3 parcelas. O atleta fica até Dezembro no Fla.#futgloboradio
— Gustavo Henrique Dando Choque (@gustavodaglobo) May 14, 2019
Cuellar, 26, has not been in the Flamengo squad for the last two league games but started every single Copa Libertadores fixture for his side.
It is also understood that the Colombian holding midfielder will remain at Flamengo until December.
It is not clear whether or not that means Cuellar will sign for West Ham this summer and return to Flamengo on loan for the rest of the year or the transfer will have to wait until next January to go through.
This seems like a strange deal for all involved at West Ham. Cuellar is relatively unknown in English football and would require a huge fee for someone who was signed for such a small figure only a couple of years ago. It is clear that the Hammers want to strengthen their midfield with other options such as Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid also being linked to the club. West Ham would be much better of going for a much more tried and tested option with more experience better related to the Premier League who could adapt much quicker to the style of football. Both Mark Noble and Declan Rice will still be considered as their first options in the midfield, and Pellegrini should look to bring in a younger midfield option who will expect to be on the bench but consistently push for a starting spot. If that isn’t the route the club want to aim for than they should certainly aim higher that Cuellar who has only ever played in South America.