Newcastle United would hit West Ham right where it hurts by being successful with their reported bid to sign Lille midfielder Thiago Maia.
Le10Sport claimed that the Magpies had submitted an £17.8million offer for the Brazilian midfielder who has a £22million price tag slapped on his head.
The French news outlet didn’t state whether the French side had completely knocked back the Magpies’ eight-figure offer but did share that talks between the two parties were continuing about a potential deal.
However the Magpies aren’t the only Premier League side in the race for him, as according to The Sun Maia was poised to be added to the Hammers’ squad as the London side had agreed a £20million deal with Lille to sign him.
While Manuel Pellegrini’s side have welcomed several news players this summer that has seen them spend heaps of cash in the process, Maia is desperately needed at the London Stadium.
Pellegrini’s current Hammers squad is clearly void of a defensive midfielder who would give their side’s defence an extra layer of protection when it comes to stopping them shipping goals.
If the Hammers fail to capture the talented Brazilian then it would leave an obvious gap in their squad as a defensive midfielder is particularly needed to be called upon in the club’s upcoming campaign as their defensive record last season was woeful.
Maia would be the final puzzle piece needed to complete a very promising Hammers squad in order for them to look very capable of taking the Premier League by storm.
While the Hammers could simply find another defensive midfielder to find, they will struggle not only due to time running out on this window but because there are few better options then Maia to take given his price tag.
As The Sun’s report states the 21-year-old has £50million release clause in his contract, which reflects his talents, and Lille are only willing to cash in on him due to their financial meltdown.
Maia fantastically reads the game well which allows him to intercept his opponent’s passes with ease and is a strong tackler of the ball, also given his age he will only get better with experience.
However while he would be a fantastic acquisition for Rafa Benitez’s side this summer if he joined, the Magpies can do without him as the strongest area of their team is arguably their midfield.
Therefore while the Hammers will be effected by failing to sign Maia, the Magpies won’t.
But it does mean that the Magpies would hit their Premier League rivals right where it hurts by being successful with their reported bid to sign Maia as it would stop the London club having all the tools needed to take England’s top-flight by storm.