West Ham suffer Darwin Nunez blow amid transfer record bid rumours as deadline looms

West Ham United have apparently suffered a blow to their hopes of signing Benfica striker Darwin Nunez on transfer deadline day.

It had been reported that West Ham and Benfica had come to an agreement on a transfer fee over the weekend, with a deal hoped to be pushed through on deadline day today.

However, Sky Sports has now reported that Benfica have rejected West Ham’s offer for the 22-year-old, who has impressed with a prolific goalscoring record this season.

Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio has also reported that West Ham have made a £50million offer for Nunez – what would be a club-record transfer for the Hammers.

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It is not known whether the £50million bid is the one that has been rejected, though Sky Sports’ initial report said an improved bid was possible, meaning there could be legs in this deal yet.

Nunez has scored 20 goals in all competitions already this season, including 15 in 16 league games and three in six Champions League group-stage games.

He is currently with the Uruguay squad for their World Cup qualifier against Venezuela on Tuesday and a deal is thought to be logistically difficult to complete as a result. He also has three and a half years remaining on his current contract, meaning the Portuguese club are in no desperate position to sell in January.

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West Ham have been chasing a striker all winter, keen to add a second option following the departure of Sebastian Haller in the summer.

Reims forward Hugo Ekitike had attracted interest from the Hammers, but it looks as though he could be on his way to Newcastle United before the deadline shuts at 11pm instead.

Former Premier League striker Rhys Healey, now with Toulouse, has also been linked with a move to the London Stadium.

The 27-year-old, who spent two seasons in the English top-flight with Cardiff City, has scored 13 goals in 18 matches in the French second tier so far this season and 27 in 50 in total since his transfer to France in 2020.


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