West Ham United boss David Moyes looks to have dropped a giant clanger – quite literally – as Atletico Madrid close in on a deal for striker he snubbed in the summer.
West Ham were heavily linked with huge 6ft 7in striker Paul Onuachu during the summer window.
But in the end Moyes elected not to sign the 27-year-old Nigerian ace, or indeed any striker, saying the players he wanted were not available (Independent).
That has left West Ham relying on the fitness of injury-prone Michail Antonio as the club’s only legitimate striker option.
Moyes snubbed striker Onuachu in the summer
And although Antonio has started the season on fire, his game time has to be carefully managed meaning he cannot be used in every match of West Ham’s busy schedule.
After snubbing Onuachu – who was ready to sign for the Hammers according to All Nigeria Soccer – West Ham were ironically paired with his club Genk in the Europa League.
So Moyes will likely come up against the giant forward when Genk come to the London Stadium next week.
But the Scot’s decision not to sign Onuachu will surely be called into question.
Hammers boss drops massive clanger as giant forward now looks set for £18m Madrid move
That’s after reports from Spain emerged overnight claiming the striker with nine goals in nine games this season looks set for a move to La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.
According to respected Spanish outlet Marca, Atletico’s sporting director Andrea Berta has been keeping a close eye on Onuachu.
And Onuachu, who scored 35 goals last season, has impressed with Atleti ready to pay Genk £18m for the striker Moyes deemed not good enough for West Ham.
A January move to link up with Diego Simeone is now very much in the offing for Onuachu according to Marca.
Atletico already in contact with Genk over January deal having been impressed when scouting goal-a-game man
“Atletico Madrid and Berta have already made contact with Genk about Onuachu, who arrived in Belgium in 2019 from Midtjylland…” Marca reports.
“His price tag of around 20 million euros is one that Atletico can afford and is seen as reasonable, with the club having watched him closely enough to be confident he would improve their side.
“Onuachu wouldn’t occupy one of the non-EU places in the squad thanks to the Cotonou Agreement, so a mid-season arrival wouldn’t pose any problems for Los Rojiblancos.”
Moyes is doing a brilliant job at West Ham but he looks to have made a mistake here
Moyes is doing a brilliant job at West Ham. But for £18m Onuachu was surely worth it for the added threat he would have given West Ham at set pieces alone.
In fact there is an argument to say he would have made the ideal back-up for Antonio as he offers something completely different. And he can clearly finish too.
Who is to say he could not have played in a devastating two with Antonio as well.
If Onuachu joins Atletico and does well, it has to go down as a rare transfer clanger from Moyes.