Lopes has enjoyed a superb season at Monaco, should West Ham consider a move?
Manuel Pellegrini has been handed a £75million warchest at West Ham United after replacing David Moyes in the London Stadium hotseat, and forming a reunion with Monaco’s Rony Lopes should be his summer priority.
Pellegrini, 64, managed Manchester City for three years between 2013 and 2016, where he picked up a Premier League trophy. Known to be somewhat of an attacking manager, he gave Portugal international Lopes his first City start.
Since then, Lopes has joined Monaco on a permanent basis, and is in the form of his life. He starred in the French side’s 2017-18 campaign, providing the creative spark behind captain Radamel Falcao.
During his 49 league and cup appearances, the 5ft 7in pocket-sized maestro had a hand in 27 goals. Scoring 15 himself, he turned provider to create a further 12 strikes.
Pellegrini handed Lopes his first start at Manchester City, in the form of a EFL Cup 5-0 win over Wigan back in September 2013. Since then, the former Lille ace has come on leaps and bounds.
He is now one of the most feared playmakers in French football, and with Manuel Lanzini sidelines for much of the campaign through injury and doubts over a permanent deal for Joao Mario, Lopes could be the perfect replacement.
The Portuguese star, who missed out on his country’s World Cup squad despite being included in the provisional squad, has two years remaining on his current deal at Monaco.
Given that Pellegrini gave Lopes the chance to shine as a youngster, the Chilean boss would be adding a player that would increase West Ham’s attacking prowess two-fold.