The board at West Ham United are waiting on David Moyes to clarify his January transfer targets as talks continue with agents, according to reports by Claret and Hugh.
The Lowdown: An additional centre-back is needed
The Hammers have been missing Zouma in the backline, as the Frenchman was integral in making crucial clearances for the team, leading the squad in this respect with 5.2 per game. However, it is expected that the 27-year-old will make a return from his hamstring injury in the middle of January, alleviating the pressure on current partnership Issa Diop and Craig Dawson.
An addition was made essential following the season-ending injury sustained by Ogbonna, who suffered a cruciate ligament rupture. This comes as a blow to the Italian, whose contract is set to expire in the summer – just when he is expected back from injury.
This illustrates just how vital it is that Moyes brings in additional cover at the back, as a few injuries have severely altered the team’s defensive dynamics.
The Latest: Hammers board wait on Moyes amidst talks
According to reports by West Ham insiders Claret and Hugh, the Hammers’ new board is waiting to hold its first meeting in light of the resurgence of the pandemic. This meeting is expected to cover transfer targets for the January window, but it is reported that Moyes is yet to make his final decision regarding who he wants the club to prioritise when pursuing a new centre-back.
West Ham have shortlisted Liverpool’s Nathaniel Phillips and Burnley’s James Tarkowski as potential options ahead of the transfer window. It is understood that talks are ongoing with the players’ agents, but the board meeting will need to be held first before a decision can be made on finer details such as payment.
The Verdict: Big decision for Moyes
Moyes will have a tough time considering which out of the two aforementioned options he wishes to prioritise in the club’s pursuit of a new centre-back. Stronger links have been made with the Liverpool defender, who could well be a perfect addition to the side.
Phillips has received huge praise whenever he has been thrown into action for the Reds. The £15m-valued colossus has made more clearances per game (three) than any of his team-mates in the Carabao Cup this term, while Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has described some of his performances as ‘unbelievable’.
If the Hammers decide to pursue Phillips, the board will need to meet quickly as a variety of clubs could be interested in the player in January based on those figures and endorsements.
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