West Ham United have reportedly paid South American ace Fabian Balbuena’s sell-out clause as Corinthians released a statement confirming the transaction and wishing the centre-back the best of luck for his future. The 26-year-old is due to arrive at East London to undergo his medical and also to put pen to paper on a final deal.
“Corinthians informs that it received a proposal from West Ham United, of England, for Fabian Balbuena. The amount offered was the same as the amount required by the other party in the contract renewal, signed two months ago. The defender is already cleared for medical examinations for transfer to the London club. The board thanks the services provided in this time of home and wishes luck in the new journey.”
Manuel Pellegrini has been on the lookout to complete his centre-half pairing after the acquisition of Issa Diop from Toulouse FC. Now the Hammers have shelled out a transfer sum close to £4m to land the Paraguayan defensive ace.
Reports also claim that United were contacted by Balbuena’s agent for a potential transfer. Pellegrini somehow liked what he saw from the defender to initiate an immediate approach. For the Hammers faithful, there might be doubt in their minds over the potential of Balbuena in the English Premier League but for now, they will have to trust in their gaffer.
Balbuena started his professional career in his home nation, playing for Cerro Porteno PF, where he made 76 league appearances and delivered with 5 goals. He later moved to Rubio Nu for a short period before being transferred permanently to Nacional.
Corinthians brought him over from Libertad three years ago and has been rewarded with 11 goals from his 136 appearances across all competitions. An impressive statistic for a centre-back and one which might have caught the attention of the Chilean boss at the London Stadium.
Balbuena has played in Paraguay for the majority of his career but understandably has learned quite a bit from his time in the Brazilian top-flight. The winning mentality must be rooted in his mind after he secured three trophies over the past three seasons. The centre-back has also been capped 5 times for the Paraguay national team, getting his first call-up in 2015.
Now he will have to compete against the likes of Diop, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, Reece Oxford and Declan Rice in the West Ham club ranks. It is going to be a completely new challenge for the player who should try his level best to earn the faith of Pellegrini and cement a starting spot in the near future.
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