Report: £17m man turns down West Ham, set to join rival suitors instead

West Ham United manager David Moyes during the Premier League match between West Ham United and AFC Bournemouth  at London Stadium on January 1, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.

West Ham United were hoping to lure Stanislav Lobotka to the Premier League but the Celta Vigo star is heading to Serie A with Napoli instead.

Stanislav Lobotka of RC Celta de Vigo with the ball during the Liga match between FC Barcelona  and RC Celta de Vigo at Camp Nou on November 09, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

Celta Vigo star Stanislav Lobotka has turned down a move to West Ham United as he has his heart set on joining Serie A giants Napoli instead, according to Calciomercato.

During the 4-0 thrashing of Bournemouth on New Years’ Day, it was The Hammers’ much-maligned midfield that made the difference. Two-goal Mark Noble rolled back the years with a masterclass of a performance while Declan Rice showcased the other side of his game with a sublime assist to set up Felipe Anderson’s second half effort.

But, as regular visitors to the London Stadium will tell you, performances like this have been few and far between of late. For far too long, West Ham have looked vulnerable and one-paced in the centre of the park with the capital club lacking the kind of dynamic, box-to-box enforcer capable of making the difference at both ends of the pitch.

 

All-action Serb Lobotka, then, looks like the kind of signing they have been crying out for. The 25-year-old is an excellent footballer, capable of slaloming through challenges and snapping into tackles like an Eastern European answer to N’Golo Kante.

But the chances of Lobotka posing in claret and blue this month look slim.

According to Calciomercato, the former Nordsjaelland man has turned down the chance to join West Ham as he wants to play for Napoli under Gennaro Gattuso – a man who unsurprisingly admires Lobotka’s tenacity and skill.

Stanislav Lobotka of Slovakia reacts during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Slovakia and Wales on October 10, 2019 in Trnava, Slovakia.

The report adds that his move to the Stadio San Paolo could be announced within the next 48 hours with Napoli expected to pay around £17 million.

But with the likes of Sander Berge and Gedson Fernandes also on West Ham’s radar, David Moyes’ side are not short of alternatives.

Stanislav Lobotka of Celta de Vigo in action during the La Liga match between RC Celta de Vigo and RCD Mallorca at Abanca-Balaídos on December 15, 2019 in Vigo, Spain.

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