West Ham will miss out on ex Barcelona man Gerard Deulofeu because of his big infatuation with Italian side Napoli.
West Ham have been heavily linked with a move to bring the Spanish winger back to the Premier League (Calciomercato).
An “exclusive” report earlier this year from Calcio Financial claimed West Ham want the former Barcelona, Everton and Watford playmaker in the summer.
And just over a month ago it was reported David Moyes is very keen to sign Deulofeu with West Ham told they could land the Udinese man for as little as €15 million (£12.4 million) this summer.
The link came as something of a surprise given Deulofeu has been somewhat off the radar since leaving Watford for Udinese.
But the 28-year-old returned to prominence last season, scoring an incredible 13 goals and laying on five assists from an attacking midfield position in 31 Serie A games.
A West Ham insider told Claret and Hugh that the Hammers were not interested in signing Deulofeu when the initial speculation started doing the rounds.
The rumours have not gone away with the summer window opening in five days.
Whether Moyes was – or remains – interested, West Ham look set to miss out on ex Barcelona man Deulofeu because of his big infatuation with Napoli.
According to Football Italia, the alleged West Ham target has reached a draft agreement with Napoli regarding a multi-year contract ahead of a possible move from Udinese.
And it appears West Ham have missed out due to Deulofeu’s ‘infatuation’ with the idea of playing for Napoli (Calciomercato).
“Contracted to the Friulian club (Udinese) until 2024, he seems destined for the jump to a big club once again,” Football Italia reports.
“As reported by Calciomercato, Deulofeu is infatuated with the idea of playing for Napoli and he considers their offer to be the absolute priority. He has reached a draft agreement on the basis of a multi-year deal worth £1.75m net per season plus results-based add-ons.
“Napoli are now looking to close out a deal with Udinese; their first offer of £11m failed to convince, so they’re preparing to raise things to around £13-14m, which could be enough to secure a transfer.”
Napoli are a proud, historic and romantic club so Deulofeu’s infatuation is understandable.
With doubts over the future of both Said Benrahma and Nikola Vlasic, West Ham desperately need more craft and guile.
So the move for former Everton and Barcelona playmaker Deulofeu made perfect sense for West Ham, particularly given the bargain fee being quoted.
If Moyes really was interested in Deulofeu then it looks like a case of another one bites the dust.
But if West Ham can get a deal sorted for free agent Jesse Lingard then it won’t matter one jot.