West Ham are closing in on the signing of Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals, according to reports.
The Londoners have already made two summer signings, bringing in goalkeepers David Martin and Roberto on free transfers, and look set to confirm a third arrival.
Will West Ham sign Fornals? Five things to know…
- It was reported earlier in the week that West Ham had begun talks with Villarreal to sign Fornals.
- This was said to be a response to the Hammers missing out on Celta Vigo’s Stanislav Lobotka.
- Now, West Ham are close to a £24m deal for Fornals, according to the Guardian.
- West Ham director Mario Husillos worked with the player at Malaga, which appears to have sped up the deal.
- Personal terms are yet to be agreed with Fornals, who managed five goals and six assists in all competitions in 2018/19.
Fornals was one of his side’s standout creators in 2018/19; only Santi Cazorla (72) set up more goalscoring chances for Villarreal in La Liga than Fornals (45).
And since the beginning of the 2017/18 season, only one La Liga midfielder – Sevilla’s Pablo Sarabia (18) – has provided more assists than Fornals (15).
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The majority of those assists, 12 to be exact, came in 2017/18 with Fornals only creating three league goals for his teammates this season.
West Ham appear to be have made strengthening in midfield a priority this summer. It was reported earlier in June that they had made a £20m bid for Andre Gomes, who spent last season on loan at Everton.
Although Fornals plays in a more advanced position, any acceleration of West Ham’s attempts to sign the Villarreal star lends credence to suggestions that Gomes sees his future at Goodison Park.