One time River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio has told TYC Sports that West Ham ace Manuel Lanzini wanted to leave to return to his boyhood club.

The 29-year-old joined the Hammers on loan from Al Jazira in the summer of 2015.

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He then made his move to West Ham a permanent one the following year for around £8 million (ESPN).

Lanzini began his career at River Plate in Argentina but left for Saudi Arabia when he was only 21.

And the mercurial Argentine seemingly still dreams about returning to his home country one day.

He recently told TyC Sports how he would like to return to River Plate one day:

Olympique Lyon v West Ham United: Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Europa League
Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

“River are an institution that has nothing to envy the big clubs in Europe. They treated my entire group very well, we did well too. Obviously it makes you want to return to a club of River’s magnitude and above with the plus that is Gallardo.”

That was quite the admission from Manu. He has established himself as an integral player for David Moyes this season. It seems as though he actually wanted to leave the London Stadium last summer though…

Manuel Lanzini wanted to leave West Ham

The 29-year-old was far from a first-team regular for the Hammers at the start of this season. His recent form has completely turned all of that around though.

Lanzini might not even still be a West Ham, however, had he got his wish last summer.

That’s according to ex-River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio who told TYC Sports that Manu had the desire to join the Argentinian club last summer:

Manuel Lanzini allegedly wanted to leave West Ham last summer
Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images

“We wanted to sign (Austin FC striker Sebastian) Driussi and Lanzini. Obviously the numbers did not add up but they had the desire and the will to return to River.”

Thank God that he remained at the London Stadium in the end.

The 29-year-old is unbelievably crucial to the way in which West Ham play as a team.

Lanzini is still under contract with West Ham until the summer of 2023 and the club have the option of extending that deal by a further two years. Perhaps he’ll leave in the summer of 2025. That would seem like the ideal solution for all parties involved.

Who knows though? If Lanzini is still producing the goods at the highest level when he’s 32, West Ham will surely want to tie him down to an even longer term deal.

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