Portuguese news outlet Record then reported just a day later that Marega was keen on joining West Ham this summer and highlighted how the player refused to train with Porto last year when the London club were trying to sign them.
However while those two reports made it sound like the Hammers had a slam dunk lined up regarding the forward if they wanted to sign him, that doesn’t look like being the case anymore.
According to Foot Mercato, while the Hammers are willing to meet Marega’s €30m (£26.9million) release clause, so are Newcastle United.
Given that the Hammers previously seemed to have a clear shot at the 28-year-old, they’re going to kick himself if the Magpies come out of nowhere to beat them to him.
Firstly this would be the case, as on paper Marega could be the attacker Manuel Pellegrini needs to complete his front line.
The 28-year-old impressed in his 2018/19 campaign as he scored 21 goals, while assisting 11, in his 47 outings for Porto, and he averaged a goal every 227 minutes in his latest league campaign (Source: BBC).
Marega is a powerful forward, shown by the fact he won 2 aerial duels per game in his league outings last season (Source: WhoScored), and could take to the Premier League like a duck to water.
After all, he managed to wow in the prestigious Champions League tournament last season by scoring six goals in nine outings.
The other reason while the Hammers would kick themselves if they lose out to Newcastle as due to the chaos at St James Park this summer if they had moved earlier they would have got him.
Rafa Benitez left Newcastle United at the end of June and his replacement Steve Bruce wasn’t appointed until July 17th, as per BBC Sport, and it’s unlikely the Magpies would have signed off on any transfers without a manager in place.
So with that in mind, if the Hammers don’t end up with Marega but Newcastle do, then there will surely be regret behind-the-scenes at the London Stadium.