An article in the East London Guardian is claiming that the Hammers have tabled a £20 million bid for Sporting Lisbon’s unsettled midfielder, Bruno Fernandes.
Fernandes only joined the side in the Portuguese capital last summer, but is one of the number of Sporting players demanding that their contracts with the club are terminated following a fan raid on the training ground earlier in the year.
Despite the troubles, Fernandes was in excellent form for Sporting last season, registering 11 goals and 10 assists during the domestic campaign.
Transfermarkt value the player at £27 million. So, were the 23-year-old to find himself plying his trade at the London Stadium this season following a £20 million summer switch, then that would represent an excellent bit of business by the East London club.
As it currently stands, the midfield options amongst West Ham’s ranks are somewhat underwhelming for a club that has ambitions of achieving European football. Aside from Manuel Lanzini, the club lack any outstanding creative talents, and as a team they don’t score enough goals from midfield. Fernandes’ arrival would go a long way to solving these issues.
Good players tend to bring out the best in those around them. So expect to see an improvement in the standards of Mark Noble, Michail Antonio and Pedro Obiang, with the Sporting Lisbon man alongside them. This would be a welcome upturn in West Ham’s midfield fortunes, as the club’s recruitment in that area has been questionable recently.
30-year-old Robert Snodgrass, who spent the 17/18 season on loan in the Championship, only joined the Hammers in January 2017 for a fee exceeding £10 million. He can only be seen as a major flop for the Irons.
The acquisition of Fernandes would be the kind of headline-grabbing injection of quality that might help get the West Hams board back on side with the fans. The likes of Lanzini, Arnautovic, Hernandez and Andy Carroll would also surely appreciate having such a technically gifted and dynamic midfield operator as part of the team and licensed with creating goalscoring opportunities for them.
This sounds like a great deal for West Ham, but they’ll be far from the only club interested in signing the Portuguese international. If one of Europe’s giants come knocking, the Hammers may be able to do little to prevent Fernandes slipping through their fingers.
There are some solid alternatives on the market. Namely Jack Wilshere, who is now available on a free transfer having left his boyhood club Arsenal this summer. He wouldn’t be as inspiring a signing as Fernandes though, who must surely be both Manuel Pellegrini and the fans’ first choice.