West Ham United could face missing out on two midfield targets to Premier League rivals Manchester United and Everton.

West Ham have been fully focused on signing a striker most of the summer.

Manuel Pellegrini’s pursuit of Maxi Gomez and the likely record fee it could take to seal the deal has dominated West Ham’s transfer activity since the club confirmed the arrival of Pablo Fornals last month.

Photo by Daniel Kopatsch West Ham United via Getty Images

Report claimed Pellegrini wanted box-to-box midfielder

Talk before the summer was that Pellegrini wanted as many as six new signings at West Ham (Claret & Hugh).

One of those included a box-to-box midfielder to play alongside Delcan Rice.

Manchester City outcast Fabian Delph and Southampton central midfielder Mario Lemina were both linked to fill that role.

Pellegrini was plotting a reunion with Delph in East London after signing him for City (Football Insider).

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Delph reunion was touted

Reliable West Ham insider ExWHUemployee claimed the interest was genuine and lifted the lid on the three reasons Pellegrini is keen to sign Delph for a second time.

The likes of Sky Sports and talkSPORT claimed Pellegrini wanted Saints star Lemina at West Ham last summer.

Gossip columns have linked the former Juventus man with the East Londoners again this window.

But new reports suggest Everton and Manchester United have moved in on Delph and Lemina respectively.

According to Sky Sports Everton are one of a number of clubs looking to sign 29-year-old Delph.

The former Leeds and Villa midfielder has been told he can leave the Etihad this summer.

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Has Pellegrini shelved targets to focus on striker?

Sky Sports News also reports that Manchester United have made an enquiry about signing Southampton midfielder Lemina.

The report claims Lemina has been given permission to speak to other clubs by Southampton. It comes after he was not included on the Saints’ pre-season training camp in Austria.

Sky state that Southampton are also aware of interest from a number of other clubs in the 25-year-old Gabon international.
It could be that West Ham have been caught taking their eye off the ball with all their energy going into securing Gomez.
And that has opened the door for the likes of Everton and Manchester United.
But just as likely is that Pellegrini has shelved plans to sign another midfielder. Preferring instead to focus the club’s efforts – and budget – on the striker situation.
That may changed if West Ham can offload Pedro Obiang this summer.
In the meantime, though, Everton and Manchester United may well have snapped up two attainable targets.
It seems this abridged transfer window is more a game of cat and mouse than ever before.
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