Report: West Ham want James Maddison as Manuel Lanzini's replacement

Manchester City's Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini (R) is watched by Chelsea's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (L) as he arrives ahead of the English Premier League football match...

Manuel Lanzini's long term absence reportedly means West Ham United will step up attempts to bring James Maddison to the Premier League.

West Ham United's Argentinian midfielder Manuel Lanzini (L) vies with Tottenham Hotspur's French midfielder Moussa Sissoko (R) during the English Premier League football match between...

Manuel Pellegrini really did not need this. Less than a month after taking over at West Ham United, he has lost his star man until 2019. Manuel Lanzini will miss the World Cup and the first half of next season after rupturing his knee ligaments in training with Argentina last week.

Along with Marko Arnautovic, the 25-year-old was arguably West Ham’s best player last season and his absence is a major blow to Pellegrini, who surely would have had big plans for him as he aims to bring an attacking style of football to the London Stadium.

According to the Guardian, West Ham have already identified a potential replacement for Lanzini, although they will have to pay a lot to get him.

James Maddison of Norwich City celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Norwich City at Portman Road on October 22, 2017 in...

It is understood that the Hammers will renew their interest in Norwich City play-maker James Maddison; a player they bid £12 million for in January. These days, Maddison will cost closer to £20 million after scoring 14 goals and assisting eight in a brilliant breakthrough season at Carrow Road.

Maddison, like Lanzini, is at his best when playing in the number ten position, meaning he could slot straight into the place vacated by the stricken south American.

James Maddison of Norwich in action during the pre-season friendly match between Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion at Carrow Road on July 29, 2017 in Norwich, England.

West Ham will have to act fast, however. Everton are reportedly front-runners while Liverpool, Tottenham, Leicester and Fulham are in the race, too.

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