According to a report in the print edition of Mundo Deportivo, via Sport Witness, West Ham United and Southampton are ‘willing to pay’ for Barcelona defender Junior Firpo, with the La Liga giants seeking a sale.
The Lowdown: Barca in financial turmoil…
Financially, many big clubs across Europe have been devastated by the impact of the global pandemic and the loss of millions in matchday revenue. Barcelona are one of those clubs, with the Catalan side now seeking to offload players and recuperate some much-needed funds for the summer transfer market.
Their business has been predominantly in signing free agents so far, with Barca snapping up Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay without dipping into their transfer budget.
Ahead of a long summer, they are said to want a suitor for out-of-favour defender Firpo.
The Latest: West Ham now ‘willing to pay’ for Firpo…
As per Mundo Deportivo, the Hammers and Southampton are ‘willing to pay’ for a permanent transfer of the 24-year-old as they are marked out as his preferred bidders.
Clubs from Italy are said to be more interested in a loan deal for the player, with only AC Milan from Serie A considering a permanent deal.
This makes Firpo’s suitors from the Premier League far more appealing to Barcelona in terms of negotiating a deal, with West Ham willing to sign him permanently and pay the desired transfer fee.
The Verdict: Not a priority…
We believe that West Ham’s main priorities for this summer should be a new striker, a new centre-back and a permanent deal for 2020/21 loan star Jesse Lingard. A potentially capable alternative to Arthur Masuaku in the attacking full-back role arguably isn’t as crucial as those three summer objectives.
Going by Firpo’s appearances over the last few seasons, it could also be unwise investing in his acquisition given a severe lack of game-time for the player over the past two years. Since joining Barcelona from Real Betis in the summer of 2019, he has gone on to start just 14 La Liga games in that time, unable to replicate his previous form from the Benito Villamarín Stadium.
If David Moyes decides to stump up the cash to bring Firpo to east London, it may well be a needless gamble.
In other news: West Ham now considering ‘phenomenal’ 6 ft 2 forward who is expected to leave this summer, find out more here.
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