The transfer window remains wide open, with rumors on rumors on rumors and big money moves apparently in the cards for a few players.
The Neymar to PSG talk will not go away and have been further fueled by a (filmed!) training ground bust-up, leading to Neymar storming off the pitch. No matter how that situation plays out, another domino is Barcelona’s continued interest in Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
Whew! With all that out of the way, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with West Ham. Well, the Hammers are firmly involved in these rumors, with Liverpool wanting Manuel Lanzini as a replacement for Coutinho should he bolt to Catalonia. These rumors started as whispers yesterday and have picked up such steam that the club has responded saying they will not move The Jewel. The club have made a strong investment in the side and would view selling Lanzini as the wrong message.
That Lanzini is involved in transfer rumors shows his quality as a player and the Board refusing to sell has to be encouraging to the fans. Stepping out of Dimi Payet’s shadow after his departure, Lanzini proved himself indispensable to the side, providing stability and creativity in midfield; the club holding on to The Jewel this season is imperative to our aspirations.
However, this upcoming summer is another story. Unless the club qualify for Europe, if Lanzini has another impressive season while continuing to improve, he will prove hard to hang on to. It is up to the Board to start planning for this now by identifying transfer targets to replace his ability in midfield. At some point a player proves his worth and deserves to move on (while others throw a fit and refuse to play) and it is how the club reacts which tells the story. Let’s just say another “let’s replace Dimi Payet with Robert Snodgrass” will not be welcomed.