West Ham United have made a £10million bid for Alaves centre back Guillermo Maripan, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Spanish outlet claims that the Hammers are in pole position to sign the Chile international, particularly with the player’s compatriot Manuel Pellegrini in charge at the London Stadium.
However, £10million is unlikely to be enough to snare the 25-year-old, with the Spanish side aiming to secure closer to double that amount for a player that Football London reported in April is a key target for West Ham director of football Mario Husillos.
Having said that, Mundo Deportivo’s report claims that this should be a fairly straightforward negotiation and that Maripan will likely end up in England this summer.
This very much feels like an opening foray from the Hammers, rather than a genuine attempt to bring Maripan to the club as a matter of urgency. They have the whole summer, to be fair, and so they don’t need to go in all guns blazing for the defender at this stage. They can take their time and try and wear Alaves down, knowing that they can always offer £20million outright if they need to get a deal done. They’ll be hoping, though, that they can bring the defender in for slightly cheaper. That’s why they’ve started with a £10million offer that they surely know will be rejected. But if they can meet Alaves in the middle somewhere then they’ll be very happy. As for the signing itself, it would be a tremendous one. Maripan has enjoyed a phenomenal season in La Liga, while the Hammers struggled along with only three fit centre halves this season. A new centre back should be a priority this summer, and Maripan looks likely to be the man.