West Ham United may look set to miss out on Gabriel Barbosa but the path could be clear for them to sign a Barcelona fringe player instead.
West Ham have been heavily linked with both Inter Milan’s Barbosa and Barcelona’s Munir El Haddadi.
There was bad news for Manuel Pellegrini this week when it emerged any chance of signing Barbosa was dead as West Ham could not get the required work permit (Football Italia).
But as the sun sets on one deal it could rise again for another.
Path clear for West Ham to sign Munir?
According to Mundo Deportivo, Pellegrini is keen on signing Munir this month.
And now Spanish newspaper Marca claims Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has told Munir he will not play for the club again and is free to leave.
His meeting with Valverde is said to have taken place ahead of Sunday’s clash with Getafe, in which he was informed he would not feature in the first-team plans again, barring injuries.
Spanish newspaper reiterates West Ham interest
Marca reiterated West Ham’s interest and said the Hammers face competition from a host of clubs including Napoli and Schalke.
The 23-year-old joined Barca from Atletico Madrid in 2011.
Munir has made 33 La Liga appearances for Barca but has made just one league start this campaign. The striker has spent the past two seasons out on loan, firstly at Valencia and then at Alaves.
He netted 14 goals in 37 appearances for the Basque club last season. Munir was widely expected to leave the Camp Nou on a permanent basis in the summer, but player exits ensured he was retained.
Pellegrini at striker crossroads
Pellegrini is at something of a crossroads over his striker options.
Andy Carroll’s contract is up in the summer and he doesn’t suit the Chilean’s desired style of play.
Both Lucas Perez and Javier Hernandez have failed to establish themselves and have been linked with moves away.
And that just leaves winger-turned-striker Marko Arnautovic, who has been linked with moves to Chelsea and Manchester United.