According to reports in Spain, West Ham will try to poach a relegated player from Girona. The Hammers are one of 13 clubs interested in Girona forward Cristian Portugues Manzanera, who is better known as Portu, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Brighton and Hove Albion are the other Premier League team keen on Portu. But Real Sociedad lead the race for the €10m-rated (roughly £8.8m) striker.
Sociedad have been in pole position after reports emerged that they had agreed a five-year deal with Portu. However, this report claims that this is not a done deal and the player is weighing up his options.
Girona’s relegation from La Liga will probably lead to Portu’s exit. Girona finished in 18th place after losing their final three games of the season and could now lose some key players.
Who is Portu?
After coming through the ranks at Valencia, Portu moved to Albacete in 2014 after failing to move up from Valencia’s B side. The versatile forward, who plays as a central striker or anywhere in the attacking midfield line, scored 12 goals and provided five assists in 79 games for the Segunda Division side.
The 27-year-old moved to Girona in 2016 and helped them win promotion in his first season. In the 2017/18 season, Portu helped preserve their top-flight status but could not repeat the feat this year.
Despite Girona’s relegation, the former Spain U17 international scored 10 goals (including nine in the league) and provided three assists. This took his total Girona tally to 29 goals and 17 assists in 115 games.
West Ham could offer him the chance to test himself in England now. The Hammers need a new striker and Portu could be a wildcard addition for Manuel Pellegrini.