Reported West Ham target Maxi Gomez has been spoken about fondly by Barcelona star Luis Suarez recently. In an interview with Mundo Deportivo (1st February, page 3), the Barça number nine praised his fellow Uruguayan forward.
This has been a common tactic in the past with Barcelona. Their current players will speak admirably about a potential signing and state they would be a good fit for the club. One only has to look towards comment made about Philippe Coutinho when he was still playing for Liverpool.
Suarez spoke highly of Gomez after being questioned whether he could be an eventual replacement for Suarez himself. Suarez said that Gomez is “very ambitious and is improving technically and with his attitude”.
At 32 years old, Suarez’s time at the top of his game may start to dwindle and hence, Barcelona are looking for a potential replacement. West Ham’s January interest in Gomez may now be scuppered by the intrigue from Barcelona.
Pellegrini had made Gomez his number one target to replace the outgoing Marko Arnautovic. However, after Arnautovic didn’t move on and instead signed a new contract, any potential move for Gomez couldn’t happen.
West Ham have earmarked Gomez as a summer transfer target, but the lingering presence of Barcelona and the praises of Luis Suarez would surely swing the deal in the Catalans’ favour.
The domino effect from the failure to move Arnautovic on in January may have a far greater impact come the summer.
It shows how much of a potential talent Gomez could be. Being lined up to replace one of the best strikers of the 21st century is no easy task. Barcelona and Suarez himself appear to think that Gomez is up to the challenge.
West Ham would surely have to go all out at the earliest possible time to have any chance of securing Gomez’s signature.