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Report: West Ham lead Tottenham in £22m chase for Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals

West Ham hold a strong interest in Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals. According to Spanish media outlet AS, several clubs want Fornals but West Ham have the most interest.

Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham all tried to lure Fornals to England in January. But Manuel Pellegrini is the reportedly the one ready to rekindle his interest in the 23-year-old.

West Ham will have to trigger Fornals’ release clause if they want to snap him up, though. Fornals is protected by a €25m (roughly £22m) release clause and Villarreal will not let him go for less.

Where would Pablo Fornals fit in at West Ham?

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Fornals plays as an attack-minded midfielder. He predominantly operates centrally, just ahead of his other central midfielders, but can also be deployed on the wing.

Perhaps Pellegrini sees Fornals as a like-for-like Manuel Lanzini replacement. Alternatively, he might plan to use Fornals slightly deeper to solve the central midfield problem at West Ham.

Fornals has been with Villarreal for two seasons since moving from Malaga. In that time, the twice-capped Spain international has scored nine goals and provided 19 assists in 96 matches.

He also played over 60 games for Malaga, racking up a tally of seven goals and three assists. With age still on his side, this could be a shrewd long-term purchase for the Hammers.

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