West Ham United’s supporters were surely over the moon when The Times reported earlier this month that the club had made an £18million bid for Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes.
However, they will now surely be running for the hills, because Everton, where the Portuguese international spent the season on loan, have now upped the ante in the hunt for the Barca star.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reported on Saturday that the Toffees have opened negotiations with the Spanish champions for the 25-year-old.
That’s not the end of the world, right? Well, the concerning thing for those of a Hammers persuasion is that Barcelona see Everton as the most feasible solution to their Gomes dilemma and view them as the best contenders for his signature at the moment. That kind of leaves Manuel Pellegrini’s side out in the cold.
The Chilean will be wary of getting into a bidding war with Marco Silva’s team, especially considering he is unlucky to have as much money at his disposal this summer after breaking the bank a year ago.
Obviously Everton were always a looming spectre considering Gomes excelled on loan at Goodison Park, but the fact that the selling club view them as a superior option to West Ham is obviously hugely concerning.
It is now imperative that Hammers director of football Mario Husillos goes back in with a second bid for the player. This is a world class talent who they can’t afford to lose to a direct rival like the Toffees.
Husillos has his work cut out for him here, but he can’t become complacent. He needs to get back to the negotiating table and nail down the Portuguese maestro.