West Ham: Pablo Fornals eyed by Barcelona
Barcelona are keen on signing West Ham United forward Pablo Fornals this summer, according to reports from Spain.
The lowdown: Fornals at West Ham
Signed from La Liga outfit Villarreal for £24m in 2019, the Spain international has become an integral part of David Moyes’ plans at the London Stadium, starting 24 or more Premier League matches in all three full seasons for the Irons.
The 26-year-old has directly contributed to 34 goals in 135 outings for the Hammers and played a regular role in the journey to the Europa League semi-finals last season.
After Barcelona failed in their quest to lure Bernando Silva to Camp Nou from Manchester City, the Catalan giants could now be set to turn their attention towards an east London favourite…
The latest: Fornals on Barcelona’s radar
As per Spanish sources, Barcelona are believed to view the six-cap attacker as a ‘plan B’ to Silva.
It’s claimed that Fornals could be available for a fee in the region of €30m-€35m (£25.5m-£30m) despite being under contract at the London Stadium until 2024.
The report also states that the Spaniard – who was described by Tony Gale as a ‘workaholic’ with ‘phenomenal’ fitness levels – is a ‘more than valid option’ for Barcelona.
The verdict: No chance
Albeit those in situ at West Ham have gone some way to ensuring that the strength in depth within Moyes’ ranks is sufficient to cover any major losses, allowing a player as integral as Fornals to leave so late in the transfer window is a non-starter.
Still seemingly heading towards the capture of Lucas Paqueta and with irons in the fire for Hans Vanaken and Atilla Szalai, more incomings remain imminently possible before the September 1 deadline passes.
So far this season, the £19.8m-valued man has scored once in five appearances across all competitions, starting all four Premier League games and posting the squad’s highest WhoScored rating in the embryonic stages of the campaign, illustrating his importance to the club.
As such, whilst a gargantuan offer could ultimately sway any decision, at present it seems unlikely that GSB would sanction an exit for Fornals.