West Ham United appear to be edging ever closer to confirming the arrival of Stade Rennais defender, Nayef Aguerd…
What’s the word?
As per journalist Fabrizio Romano, the deal to bring the 26-year-old to the London Stadium is now “confirmed”, with the deal set to be announced by the Hammers on Monday.
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Writing on Twitter to deliver an update on the situation, the respected insider stated: “Nayef Aguerd joins West Ham on a permanent deal for £30m, here we go confirmed. West Ham have finally completed paperworks with Rennes and Aguerd’s contract is now also signed.
“Official statement on Monday after some twists but with West Ham always in control.”
The Morocco international has also publicly confirmed his exit from the French outfit, with east London set to be his new home, despite fears that Premier League rivals Newcastle United were attempting to hijack the deal earlier this week.
While that rival interest from the uber-rich Magpies had sparked some nerves among Irons supporters, it would appear that last season’s Europa League semi-finalists have finally secured their man, with Aguerd set to bolster what had been a problem area last term.
A long-term absence for veteran defender Angelo Ogbonna due to injury had left manager David Moyes drastically short of options at the heart of the defence, having also seemingly lost faith in Frenchman Issa Diop, with the 25-year-old starting just ten league games last term.
The arrival of the Rennes man will not only add increased depth, but the £10.8m-rated colossus should also pose a very real threat to the current first-choice pairing of Kurt Zouma and Craig Dawson, having enjoyed another fine campaign in Ligue 1 last term.
The former Dijon ace registered ten clean sheets in his 31 league outings in the 2021/22 season – all of which had come as starts – chipping in with two goals and two assists, while also averaging an impressive four clearances per game and winning a solid 62% of his total duels.
Not just a reliable defensive asset, the £8.9k-per-week gem will also offer Moyes invaluable quality in possession, as he ranks in the top 10% for attempted passes and the top 16% for pass completion among those in his position across Europe’s big five leagues, showcasing his willingness to play out from the back.
That calmness with the ball at his feet – and the fact he is left-footed – should provide the Hammers boss with an impressive alternative to his current centre-back options, with the Scotsman undoubtedly buzzing to have secured such a talent to help bolster the club’s domestic and European hopes for next term.