It’s been clear for a while now that Alaves centre back Guillermo Maripan is a key transfer target for West Ham United this summer.
Football London reported as much in April when they claimed that the Chile international was one of two priority targets for Hammers director of football Mario Husillos.
You have to question why, then, they continue the play games with the Spanish side? The Sun reported on Thursday that the east London outfit are set to go back in with a £15million bid for Maripan after their £13.5million opening offer was rejected.
However, the 25-year-old has a £22million release clause and Alaves are holding out for the full amount. So if Maripan is really a player that Husillos wants to sign as a matter of priority, why is he not just paying the full amount that is needed to get him?
The club’s penny pinching is sure to get them in trouble, here. Another team could easily swoop in and pay the release clause, agree terms with the player and secure for themselves one of West Ham’s primary transfer targets. How could they risk that happening?
Clearly some reinforcements are needed at the back. For much of this season the Hammers had just two fully fit centre halves, Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna. Fabian Balbuena missed several months through injury, but even when he was fit Manuel Pellegrini had just three centre backs to choose from.
So some more competition is needed at the heart of the defence and Husillos has clearly identified Maripan as the man to solve that problem. So why is he not just triggering his release clause? He played games with Barcelona and Andre Gomes and that looks like it’s backfired – the same could be about to happen here.