West Ham look to have failed in their chase of Celta Vigo midfielder Stanislav Lobotka as the Slovakia international has his heart set on a move to Napoli.
David Moyes is set to receive financial backing from the West Ham hierarchy this month and central midfield is an area that the Hammers are believed to be targeting – with the east Londoners currently devoid of a dynamic midfielder that’s capable at both ends of the pitch.
And despite his attacking deficiencies, West Ham were keen on bringing in Lobotka. However, Calciomercato understands that the Slovakian has declined the opportunity to join the Hammers, instead opting for a move to Naples – with new Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso a fan of the 25-year-old.
The Spanish club initially asked for a fee just surpassing £21m for Lobotka’s services, but are now happy to settle for a fee of £17m plus bonuses. Talks are believed to be ongoing between the two clubs with increasing confidence that a deal will be agreed in the next 48 hours.
Lobotka rose to prominence in La Liga after his move from Nordsjaelland in the summer of 2017, joining for a minute £4m fee. The defensive-minded midfielder has since gone on to make 90 appearances for Celta – providing no goals and just one assist during that time, however, highlighting his defensive nature.
With Fabian Ruiz potentially departing Naples this month, Lobotka could well be brought in to fill the void. While the Slovakian may not be as well refined on the ball or as competent in the final third as the Spaniard, Lobotka will provide great tenacity and intensity to the Napoli midfield.
As for West Ham, their search for a new midfielder goes on and it’s understood that they’re in talks with Benfica over the highly sought after Gedson Fernandes, while Genk’s Sander Berge is another option.