With less than a week remaining in the transfer window, Manuel Pellegrini is still clearly determined to strengthen his West Ham side, specifically his defence.
The Hammers have looked less than solid at the back during pre-season – and their last friendly against Hertha Berlin highlighted that as they conceded three goals with certain players struggling.
Ben Johnson was constantly caught up the field and his positioning led to the West Ham defence being bombarded at times – something that saw Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop look less than their usual solid selves from set-pieces and in open play.
That showing brought cracks to light for Pellegrini, who has been reported by the Daily Mail to be targeting Alaves defender Guillermo Maripan once again after having a £9.5million bid rejected for the Chilean in May.
Reliable club source ExWHUemployee confirmed on the West Ham Way podcast, that any move for Maripan is set to be more than what the club can afford at this moment in time.
ExWHUemployee said: “At the moment, I think his price is going to be too big for us to conclude a deal for him. I think if we could get it to around £5-8million we would go for him, but that’s not looking likely.”
West Ham would be having a laugh if they think they can secure a defender such as Maripan for such a low figure, no matter what Alaves’ stance is on the Chilean.
Claret and Hugh have already reported that Pellegrini will only have around £5million to spend in this final week of the window, and even Mario Husillos isn’t that good of a negotiator. ExWHUemployee is surely kidding himself if he believes that Alaves will drop to that valuation, with the Hammers clearly desperate to try and bring in another defender.
The 25-year-old enforcer averaged two tackles per game last season, on top of 1.7 interceptions and 5.7 clearances – proving his ability to read the game as well as put a foot in when needed [Source: WhoScored].
With Winston Reid yet to prove himself as he returns from injury, and Angelo Ogbonna has been less than convincing in pre-season with numerous poor performances, a defender is vital at the London Stadium.
West Ham are surely destined to miss out on signing Maripan as if their transfer budget is really that limited then they can’t afford a player of his calibre, and it seems unlikely they’ll be able to raise the funds before the window slams shut.