West Ham have held talks with an “underrated” player’s entourage as they eye up a potential Kalvin Phillips alternative, and it is believed they’re willing to meet his club’s asking price.
West Ham remain in Kalvin Phillips talks
As per widespread media reports, West Ham have been in ongoing talks over a deal for Phillips since last week, with Sky Sports first reporting the negotiations.
West Ham weighing up late January bid for “the best player” in his country
He’s been in scintillating form this campaign.
Injuries have exposed a glaring lack of depth in manager David Moyes’ squad recently, with striker Michail Antonio and midfield star Lucas Paqueta currently out with long-term injuries.
Summer signing Edson Alvarez has also been a sore miss in front of the back four, and while the Mexico international is expected back for West Ham’s next game (Roshane Thomas), his absence has seriously highlighted the need for more midfield options.
“Sidelined by a calf injury, West Ham yesterday continued their run of having failed to win a League game without the Mexican since his debut,” wrote Evening Standard reporter Malik Ouzia after their 2-2 draw with relegation-threatened Sheffield United.
“Evidence not only of his [Alvarez’s] importance at the base of midfield but also of the need to sign adequate cover this month. Kalvin Phillips would offer more than that, and it is little wonder that, even with injuries in his forward line attracting more headlines, Moyes is pushing to strike a loan deal for the Manchester City midfielder before the window closes.”
Indeed, Phillips is a player who West Ham appear determined to get through the door, yet it could be a costly operation given his £135,000-per-week salary and City demanding a reported loan fee of £5 million (Sky Sports).
It could therefore be ideal to have alternative options to fall back on, in case the Irons and Pep Guardiola’s side fail to strike a deal this late in the January window.
West Ham hold talks with agent of Mandela Keita
According to Belgian news outlet Nieuwsblad, that player could well be Royal Antwerp ace Mandela Keita. West Ham have apparently held talks with his entourage in a bid to obtain information about the defensive midfielder, and also scouted him recently.
Keita has also attracted interest from Norwich, Leeds, Blackburn and Nottingham Forest, but West Ham could be favourites over those sides if they did decide to make a move.
It is believed the east Londoners have the necessary “resources” to get him through the door, and while Antwerp would want to make double their money on Keita’s original signing fee, West Ham are “willing” to meet Keita’s asking price and go that far.
Mandela Keita’s best league performances for Club Brugge – 23/24
Match Rating (via WhoScored)
Westerlo 0-3 Brugge
Cercle Brugge 1-3 Club Brugge
Brugge 1-1 Anderlecht
Brugge 0-0 Molenbeek
Brugge 4-1 Sporting Charleroi
In any case, it’s also claimed a player will have to leave first. The 21-year-old, called “underrated” by football talent scout Jacek Kulig, is also one of Antwerp’s best-performing players per 90 this season according to WhoScored.