West Ham United had a deal agreed for Barcelona striker Martin Braithwaite in the summer window only for it to mysteriously fall through.
That’s according to a new report emerging from Spain yesterday which claims the Hammers could get their man for £10m less in the January window.
West Ham boss David Moyes was desperate to add another striker to his squad ahead of the deadline.
The Hammers were heavily linked with Bournemouth’s Josh King and Danish forward Braithwaite.
West Ham heavily linked with Braithwaite as far back as April
The former Middlesbrough star saw an ’emergency’ £16 million move to Barca receive special dispensation by La Liga outside of the transfer window back in February.
But West Ham ramped up their interest as far back as April after it became clear Braithwaite was simply a stop gap signing for the Catalan giants (Daily Mail).
Now it appears West Ham were very serious about signing the 29-year-old before the window closed last month.
That’s according to Spanish outlet AS, which claims West Ham had a deal agreed only for it to mysteriously fall through.
West Ham had deal agreed for striker but move mysteriously fell through – report
And while Barca were hoping to recoup as much of their £16m outlay as possible, AS says the striker’s value has dropped to less than half that figure.
“The pandemic has brought the market value of Braithwaite down to 7.50 million euros, but Barça bought it at 18 and hopes to sell him in similar figures,” AS claims.
“In fact, the Dane was about to sign this summer for West Ham, but the operation was broken without, to this day, the reasons being known.”
The Spanish publication goes on to suggest Braithwaite will more than likely leave in the Camp Nou in January as new Barca boss Ronald Koeman doesn’t fancy him and the striker’s place in the Denmark side is under threat too as a result of his lack of match action.
“Martin Braithwaite may be the key to signing Memphis Depay this January,” AS added.
‘Forward now set for January exit and could cost just £6m’
“At least, that is one of Barça’s ideas in an operation that could suit everyone. The Dane has only played 37 official minutes this season, an obvious proof that he has not quite convinced Koeman.
“But there is more. Danish coach Kasper Hjulmand declared last week that Braithwaite could lose his place with a view to the next European Championship if he does not have more continuity. A warning to sailors who could directly verbalize the player in this call for teams, but that could push the former Leganes footballer to make a decision and ask Barça for a way out.”
According to the likes of Football Insider, West Ham have a January deal lined up for Cherries forward King in January.
But with Braithwaite potentially available for little over £6m, the Hammers may be tempted to revisit their interest.
Or could it be that Moyes – who has made it clear he has the final say on all West Ham transfers – pulled the plug on a deal for Braithwaite?