Journalist Fabrizio Romano has poured cold water on reports linking West Ham with a move for Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli.
It was claimed in the Italian press last week that the Hammers were looking to sign the Italian international, with a fee of around €40m (£35m) being mentioned, but Romano says that the player is almost certain to sign a new contract with Juve instead:
Manuel Locatelli will sign new deal at Juventus until June 2028, as revealed 10 days ago. Matter of time. ⚪️⚫️🇮🇹 https://t.co/NRS2p13oDn
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 1, 2023
From the looks of things, it seems that Locatelli’s representatives may have put West Ham’s name into the media to put pressure on Juventus in contract negotiations.
You also have to keep in mind that the 25-year-old also rejected a move to England two years ago before joining the Bianconeri. Arsenal were actively pursuing the midfielder, but he rejected the Gunners to remain in Italy.
Soucek’s contract situation at West Ham
It had been suggested that the Hammers were targeting Locatelli as a possible replacement for Tomas Soucek. There have been conflicting reports on when Czech international’s contract is set to expire.
In September, it was claimed that Soucek had signed a brand new four-year deal but that has never been formally announced by the club.
Transfermarkt, meanwhile, say the 28-year-old’s contract does expire at the end of the season, although the club do have the option to extend it for another 12 months.
What are West Ham’s plans for January?
If the Irons are not in the market for a midfielder when the transfer window reopens, they may look to strengthen a few other positions.
Signing a new striker will be high on the agenda, while finding a successor for Aaron Cresswell will also have to be considered by manager David Moyes and technical director Tim Steidten.