West Ham have identified Lazio’s Felipe Anderson as their primary target this summer in a bid to add an extra breadth of quality to the ranks.
According to The Daily Express, citing Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Premier League outfit have seen their initial bid of £33million rebuffed, but future attempts are likely as Manuel Pellegrini searches for a stellar first signing.
The 25-year-old winger scored a total of four goals and registered seven assists in his 21 league appearances last season, adding a further three goals in seven games during Lazio’s Europa League stint.
Known as one of the standout performers within the club, Anderson is a highly sought-after commodity this summer with Leicester, Southampton and Monaco among those to be interested.
In terms of his total achievements for the Italian outfit, Anderson has scored 34 goals and 42 assists during his 177 appearances for the club – an impressive tally considering he doesn’t play through the middle.
West Ham are in need of such a player, capable of producing brilliant moments of flair down the flank, linking up well with the rest of the attack while adding surging pace.
A move would cost in the region of £43million given a 25% fee has to be paid to former-side Santos. Thus, West Ham will need to considerably up their offer if they are to lure him to London this summer. Rest assured, it would be a terrific coup for the club.
Although a good signing in principle, and certainly one that would mark a statement of intent, West Ham have several issues within the team, requiring a significant overhaul this summer that could be jeopardised by such a big money move for Anderson.
Key to their early season failings in 2017/18 was a sub-par midfield and defensive unit. Mark Noble’s age means he’s nearing the end of his career, at least in the form of a place in the starting XI.
Thus, he’ll need to be replaced by an equally good leader while a centre back and goalkeeper wouldn’t go amiss with Joe Hart set to head back to Manchester City.
Therefore, Pellegrini must weigh up a move for Anderson with the other needs of the team given West Ham’s restricted transfer budget.