West Ham United may have to stump up £50m to have any chance of signing Lille central midfielder Amadou Onana, 90min understands.
The 20-year-old has been the subject of two bids from the Hammers, who may yet return to the negotiating table as they look to add further depth to a midfield bolstered by the signing of Swansea’s Flynn Downes last week.
Onana is also attracting interest from Everton and Newcastle, 90min has learned, but West Ham are the team to have shown serious intent to complete a deal.
However, the Hammers’ bids have fallen well below Lille’s valuation of Onana, and sources have told 90min that the former Ligue 1 winners are looking to bag a hefty £50m for a player they signed from Hamburg only last year.
The Belgian, who made his full international debut against the Netherlands in June, played 32 Ligue 1 games last season and impressed even though Lille’s title defence fell well short of expectations. He also featured in the Champions League on eight occasions.
Onana’s contract still has another four years to run, but West Ham have identified him as a potential incoming, among others, ahead of another gruelling season.
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David Moyes’s side will compete in the Europa Conference League after finishing seventh in the Premier League, and will hope that another successful campaign lies ahead after an incredible run to the semi-finals of last season’s Europa League – a run that included two-legged victories over Sevilla and Lyon, both teams with proven pedigree on the European stage.
The Hammers did, however, struggle with fitness issues towards the end of the season, with tired legs and a lack of options leading to a slight downturn in results.
In addition to Downes, Nayef Aguerd and Alphonse Areola are the two other major signings Moyes has made in the summer transfer window, and the Scot is keen to continue assembling a squad capable of regularly challenging for a top-six finish.
A new striker is a priority for West Ham, with Chelsea’s Armando Broja the club’s number one target, while there’s also hope of bringing in a new left-back, wide player and, as evidenced by the interest in Onana, a central midfielder – a position weakened by the retirement of Mark Noble in May and the end of Alex Kral’s loan spell.