After so much speculation, Moussa Marega did not end the transfer window as a Premier League player.
West Ham United were understood to be very interested in the Malian striker, who inspired Porto to their first league title in five years last season with an impressive tally of 22 goals in 29 games. L’Equipe stated on Wednesday that The Hammers made a £26 million bid.
But Porto’s hardball tactics worked a treat. As reported by The Mirror, they refused to let Marega go for a penny less than his £36 million release clause.
And reports from Sapo Desporto in Portugal claim that West Ham were unwilling to pay such a fee, instead turning their attentions to the speedy Arsenal striker Lucas Perez. The Spaniard, for what it’s worth, could be an outstanding bargain at £4 million.
But how does Marega feel about being denied a move to England? Well, understandably, he has been left disappointed. Sapo Desporto adds that the former Maritimo and Amiens striker was desperate to seal a move to West Ham before Thursday’s 5pm deadline.
Now, he faces a challenge to force his way back into the Porto side after being left on the sidelines by Sergio Conceicao after a drop in performance and concerns about his commitment to the cause.
Now Marega can either sulk on the bench or get back to scoring at a prolific rate. If he wants to seal a move to England next year, he should choose the latter option.