According to football journalist Ekrem Konur, West Ham United are plotting a summer move for Clément Lenglet. Barcelona are open to listening to offers for the French centre-half but would only sanction a loan exit for the upcoming term as claimed by Gerard Romero via Sport.
However, it has further been claimed that the Blaugrana are attempting to include an obligatory option to buy clause if a loan deal is struck. This would be triggered if a certain percentage of appearances is met and the Hammers might face competition from Everton while securing the services of the ex-Sevilla ace.
The 26-year-old Les Blues international progressed through the youth ranks of Nancy before plying his trade in Andalusia. His impressive spell at Sevilla attracted the attention of the Catalans and they took no time to trigger his €35m release clause back in the summer of 2018.
So far he has made 133 appearances over the past three campaigns but might need a fresh challenge elsewhere following the arrival of Eric Garcia. The Frenchman could not earn the Cules’ trust and the club are keen on clearing the wage bill amid the ongoing financial conundrum. Neither Lenglet nor Samuel Umtiti seems to be in Ronald Koeman’s plans.
Why A Move For Lenglet Makes Sense For West Ham
West Ham, meanwhile, exceeded all expectations last season when they finished sixth to secure Europa League football. They are determined to deliver once more under David Moyes, and therefore, eyeing new names to improve their squad strength. Fabian Balbuena has already left the club upon the expiration of his contract and winter signing Frederik Alves is still too young to secure a starting status. Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna are in their thirties whereas Issa Diop might leave for playing time having slipped down the pecking order in recent months.
The Hammers Must Negotiate The Clause
Lenglet would be a welcome addition for the East Londoners considering his experience of the highest order. He made 1.1 tackles per game in La Liga and maintained a passing accuracy of 92.1%. This is something that reflects his ability to play it out from the back, also the 2.8 long balls per outing depict the variation he tries to implement from the heart of the backline (stats via Whoscored).
Having said that, the Barca centre-back is not the strongest in the air and has certain limitations in his game in terms of positioning and unnecessary fouls. The Irons, therefore, must assess the situation first and should rather negotiate for an ‘option to buy’ clause in order to bypass any unavoidable circumstances a year later.
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