Midfielder Amadou Onana wanted to join West Ham United over Everton and David Moyes saw him as his Declan Rice heir.
Everton signed Belgian midfield prodigy Onana after West Ham – who had been in the box seat having chased the giant midfielder all summer – pulled out of the running despite finally seeing a bid accepted at the fourth attempt (Sky Sports).
In just over 24 hours West Ham’s move for the powerhouse was on and off no less than four times when Everton came in out of the blue and matched the £33m bid Lille had accepted from the Hammers.
In the end Moyes pulled the plug on the move, clearing the path for Everton to press ahead with his signing.
West Ham fans had been seriously excited at the prospect of signing the 6ft 5in midfielder, who is very highly rated by in his home country – the world’s second best team no less.
So there was huge disappointment that West Ham did not get the deal for Onana over the line, especially as it seems there is no obvious alternative target waiting in the wings.
Hammers fans will be left baffled then by claims that have now emerged regarding the transfer.
Amadou Onana wanted to join West Ham over Everton and David Moyes saw him as his Declan Rice heir
Because Onana wanted to join West Ham over Everton and Moyes saw him as his heir to talisman Rice.
An exclusive from Football Insider claims Onana wanted to join West Ham having been impressed with the Hammers under Moyes from afar.
But the report claims Everton were willing to offer Onana a place as a guaranteed starter while Moyes refused such assurances.
That’s despite a West Ham insider telling Claret and Hugh that Moyes saw Onana as the heir apparent to West Ham’s midfield star Rice – a claim also made by Football Insider.
“New Everton signing Amadou Onana’s first choice was to sign for West Ham this summer, sources have told Football Insider,” Football Insider reports.
“It is believed the central midfielder’s preference was to join the London club following their transformation under David Moyes.
“But West Ham refused to guarantee Onana a starting role, in a midfield where Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek have been virtual untouchables in the previous two seasons.
“By contrast, Everton made clear to the Belgium international that he would be a regular starter from the off in their side.
“That made up the mind of Onana, who is desperate to be selected for Belgium’s World Cup squad later this year and knows that could be in doubt if he is not playing regularly for his club.
“West Ham viewed the central midfielder as a long-term replacement for Rice, who is expected to leave next year.”
In a report on Moyes’ decision to pull out of the move for Onana, a Hammers insider made that very same claim.
“David Moyes decided to pull out of the Amadou Onana deal despite seeing him as a possible eventual successor to Declan Rice,” Claret and Hugh reported.