Maxi Gomez has revealed that Champions League football played a big role in his decision to sign for Valencia over West Ham.
The 22-year-old joined Valencia on Sunday, signing a five-year deal with the club. The striker had been heavily linked to West Ham but revealed the lure of European football was too tempting to turn down.
Who is Maxi Gomez? 5 things to know…
- Gomez is a 22-year-old Uruguayan striker.
- The forward signed for Celta Vigo in 2017 for around €4m.
- He burst onto the scene, scoring 18 goals in 2017/18 and 13 in the league last season.
- Gomez is regarded as the heir to Luis Suarez’s position in the Uruguay national team.
- He has scored twice for his country and featured at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
In an interview with Valencia, he said: “It’s really nice to be able to play in the Champions League. I’ve never done that before, and from a young age, I always dreamt of playing in the Champions League and LaLiga. I’m very grateful to Valencia CF and very happy.”
Gomez was reportedly open to the idea of moving to West Ham, but his fee proved to be a sticking point for the Hammers. Their unwillingness to meet his release clause perhaps played a role in Gomez’s eagerness to stay in Spain, as his recent interview suggests.
He added: “I’m very happy to be joining Valencia CF. They’re a very big club, I’m happy to be here and it’s a good move for my family as well.
“For them to show confidence in a player is a big thing. I hope to be able to give my all for Valencia CF, and that everything goes well.”
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The Hammers’ search for a striker goes on
West Ham seem to be linked with massive names every single transfer window: Alexandre Lacazette, Mauro Icardi and even Zlatan Ibrahimovic in recent years, all to no avail.
Gomez would have represented a fine bit of business for the Hammers, but they will have to turn their attentions elsewhere in order to find a replacement for Marko Arnautovic. The Austrian finally departed the club for China earlier in the window.
Frankfurt striker Sebastien Haller has been identified as the club’s new no.1 target, and the German club have now confirmed a fee has been agreed.