'I want people focused': Manager drops reported £17m West Ham target

A general view of London Stadium prior to the Premier League match between West Ham United and AFC Bournemouth at London Stadium on August 18, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.

Premier League West Ham United are reportedly battling Serie A giants Napoli to sign Stanislav Lobotka from La Liga strugglers Celta Vigo.

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.

West Ham United target Stanislav Lobotka was left out of Celta Vigo’s squad on Sunday with manager Oscar Garcia suggesting that a lack of focus was the reason for the in-demand midfielder’s omission, as reported by El Desmarque.

With Celta, Europa League semi-finalists as recently as 2017, fighting against relegation in La Liga, the last thing they needed was to see a key player pack up his bags and walk away from the Balaidos midway through what is proving to be a testing campaign.

But with West Ham scouring the market for an all-action central midfielder, Serbian international Lobotka appears to be on the verge of bidding farewell to life in Galicia.


Il Mattino reported recently that the Hammers were battling Napoli to secure the signature of a player valued at around £17 million.

And, with Lobotka nowhere to be seen during Celta’s 1-1 draw with Osasuna on Sunday, head coach Oscar Garcia has offered some explanation.

"This week I talked to him, tomorrow I will talk to him again and if he is not focused he will not play,” the former Brighton coach said before the game.

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

“I just want people focused on the team, on our needs and we have to leave personal and individual aspects out because the first thing and more important is Celta.”

Calciomercato suggested last week that Lobotka would prefer to join Napoli over West Ham and, despite the fine start David Moyes has made to life at the London Stadium, who can really blame him given the Italian giants have Champions League football on the agenda?

Though with Sander Berge and Gelson Fernandes still very much on the table, West Ham aren't short of alternative options if Lobotka does indeed end up alongside Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and co at the Stadio San Paulo.

Stanislav Lobotka of Slovakia goes between James Morrison (7) and Kieran Tierney of Scotland (2) during the FIFA 2018 World Cup  Group F Qualifier between Scotland and Slovakia at Hampden...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch