West Ham close to signing Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals for £24m

Guardian Web |

West Ham are close to completing a £24m deal for Villarreal’s Pablo Fornals.

Mario Husillos, West Ham’s director of football, knows Fornals from his time at Málaga and has moved quickly to reach an agreement with Villarreal to sign the attacking midfielder. Negotiations with the Spanish club have run smoothly and while Fornals is yet to agree personal terms, it is hoped that the transfer could be completed by the end of the week.

The capture of Fornals, who has been capped twice by Spain, would be hugely satisfying for Manuel Pellegrini. West Ham’s manager is determined to strengthen his midfield and believes the 23-year-old, one of the brightest young talents in La Liga, would improve his side’s creative prowess.

Pellegrini is keen for West Ham to get their business done early this summer. They were quick to move on after attempts to sign Andre Gómes ended when the Barcelona midfielder indicated a desire to join Everton and have cooled their interest in Stanislav Lobotka after holding talks with Celta Vigo about the Slovakian midfielder last weekend. West Ham had spoken to Vigo about signing Lobotka and Maxi Gómez in a deal worth £50m.

Pellegrini wants a new striker after releasing Andy Carroll and selling Lucas Pérez to Alavés. He retains an interest in Gómez, although any agreement to sign the 22-year-old Uruguay forward remains some way off.

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