West Ham United have failed in an audacious swoop for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, according to the Daily Star.
The newspaper claims that the Hammers made a move for the 22-year-old, who AS reported in 2017 has a £430million release clause, but were rebuffed.
The Daily Star’s report also states that Manuel Pellegrini’s side’s pursuit of 42-cap Greece international Kostas Fortounis has stalled, while Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden remains their primary central midfield target.
However, they are now thought to also be looking at Eibar’s attacking midfielder Joan Jordan, who has just one year left on his contract and a release clause of £13.3million.
This report contains a lot of information on a few different transfer hunts the Hammers have embarked upon, but the main takeaway is that the club are desperate to reinforce the centre of the pitch. Clearly it’s an area that they are looking to address this summer, having suffered through inconsistency and a lack of depth at the position this summer. Mark Noble isn’t going to go on forever, so West Ham need someone to step in and partner starlet Declan Rice for the foreseeable future. Obviously Ceballos would have been ideal in that regard, but it was always unlikely that he was going to agree to swap the Bernabeu for the London Stadium. Fortounis, though, seems like a genuinely realistic recruit, so it’s a wonder why that move has seemingly fallen by the wayside. The Star’s report doesn’t reveal why the transfer has stalled, so we’ll have to wait and see what comes of that. As for Hayden, he is a proven Premier League operator who the club should be looking to sign as a matter of urgency, while Jordan is probably an unnecessary addition.