West Ham United and Everton are reportedly locked in a battle to sign Napoli midfielder Hirving Lozano this summer.
West Ham and Everton will both be looking to upgrade their squads in the next window.
Both the Hammers and Toffees have been linked with Mexican star Lozano as David Moyes and Carlo Ancelotti put their time in lockdown to good use by identifying targets.
Calcio Mercato claimed recently that the Hammers want to sign the speedy winger.
West Ham and Everton heavily linked with Lozano
The 24-year-old joined Napoli from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2019 for around €42 million (£36 million), according to Goal.
No sooner were West Ham linked than Everton emerged as favourites for his signature (Il Mattino).
But now Italian transfer guru Nicolo Schira – who broke the news of West Ham’s record move for Sebastien Haller last summer – has claimed Lozano is only a plan B for Everton.
Schira says Ancelotti’s first choice is to sign Real Madrid outcast James Rodriguez.
And that could clear the path for West Ham to complete a deal.
Transfer guru claims Lozano is only Everton plan B
“Carlo Ancelotti’s first choice is always James Rodriguez,” Schira claimed on Twitter.
“Everton have offered a 4-year contract to the Colombian player, who’ll leave Real Madrid in the next months.
“(Philippe) Coutinho (also Tottenham and Chelsea are interested) and Lozano are the plan Bs for Toffees.”
Carlo #Ancelotti’s first choice is always #JamesRodriguez. #Everton have offered a 4-years contract to the colombian player, who’ll leave RealMadrid in the next months. #Coutinho (also Tottenham and Chelsea are interested) and #Lozano are the plans B for #Toffees. #transfers #EFC
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) April 27, 2020
Schira’s claim makes sense. Lozano was signed by Ancelotti last summer but barely got a kick under the Italian.
It seems Everton are looking to go in a different direction to West Ham now.
Money appears to be no object for the Blues while West Ham have let it be known the financial impact of the global health crisis could affect they money available for transfers.
Ancelotti is looking to bring superstar names to Goodison Park. West Ham have been there, done that and got the t-shirt with very little to show for it except an expensive wage bill.
West Ham looking to go in a different direction to Everton
Moyes has made it clear he wants to do things differently, building a youthful, hungry, energetic team by picking off the best young talent from the Championship and other European leagues.
Somewhat ironically it is a strategy that worked so well for Moyes during his time at Everton.
The reports claim Napoli want to use Lozano as a swap in the deal which would limit any transfer fee on either side.
Lozano, a quick, hard-working, energetic midfielder with a great engine, would be ideally suited to the rough and tumble of the English game.
So any such deal which limits spending at an uncertain time could be the ideal solution for all parties.
Anderson has struggled in his second season after a flying start to his Premier League career with West Ham.
And West Ham look set to have their hands tied over funds.