Has Dries Mertens' wife scuppered a mega money move to West Ham this summer?

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic

West Ham United know they need to get it right in the transfer market this summer after a terrible season of recruitment but things haven't started well.

West Ham United owners David Gold and David SullivanWest Ham United co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold

Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold were full of promises last summer as the club left its beloved Boleyn Ground home of 112 years for the 60,000 seater Olympic Stadium.

Some supporters remain sceptical over their motives of publicly announcing they would spend over £30 million on a "marquee" striker signing, suggesting it was a ploy to sell season tickets.

If it was, it worked, as 52,000 signed up for them - second only to Manchester United.

Reports have suggested the club tried to land some top players but the likes of Michy Batshuayi, Alexandre Lacazette and Carlos Bacca were not so keen.

Instead a glut of poor signings diluted the quality of Slaven Bilic's squad and the Hammers have endured a torrid season since, and still require another win to seal their Premier League safety.

But if reports from Italy are to be believed, this summer's recruitment drive hasn't started well either.

That's because Napoli have rejected a £25 million bid from West Ham for Belgian international Dries Mertens after the player's wife insisted on staying in Naples, according to Italian journalist Raffaele Auriemma.

Napoli's Dries Mertens shootsNapoli's Dries Mertens shoots

Speaking on Radio CRC, writer and presenter Auriemma claimed that the 29-year-old is now set to extend his contract with Gli Azzurri instead, as reported by Hammers fan site Knees Up Mother Brown.

"Mertens will sign within a matter of hours," said Auriemma.

"He was convinced by his wife who who wanted to stay in Naples. Napoli have already rejected an offer from West Ham of €30million for the Belgian."

It will be encouraging for supporters to see the club looking to embark on their summer business nice and early.

West Ham United manager Slaven BilicWest Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

But West Ham must start to do some proper investigation work before going after a player to save face.

Otherwise the club could put other stars off if they are seen to be consistently turned down and end up having to settle for average players again.

Mertens is a huge step up in quality and would make a superb replacement for the departed Dimitri Payet.

But with no European football on offer the club may have to be more realistic in their targets, or pay over the odds to land the players that can get them there.

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