Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

West Ham United have had a bid of almost £6.5 million rejected for River Plate defender Gonzalo Montiel, according to Marca.

After months and months of links with a highly-rated Argentine international, the Hammers appear to have finally turned their interest into something more tangible.

But if they were hoping that River Plate would be willing to sell one of their prized assets on the cheap due to a financial crisis which has hit even South America’s biggest clubs hard, they were very much mistaken.

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The 2018 Copa Libertadores champions have rejected a £6.5 million bid out of hand, six months after a £9 million loan-to-buy offer from the Hammers was also tossed straight into the garbage.

Speaking to TNT Sport a month ago, Montiel’s outspoken agent Marcelo Carracedo admitted that the Premier League outfit were still interested in a player they have tracked since the end of 2019, while suggesting that River may be forced to accept a bid much lower than the 23-year-old’s £18 million release clause.

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“There are several teams that have called and are interested in Montiel. West Ham already made an offer in January and I think they’ll also make one in this market,” Carracedo said.

The twice-capped dynamo will more than likely depart for far less than £18 million, though West Ham must raise their initial bid beyond £6.5 million if they are to pique River’s interest.

Montiel, who has also been linked with the likes of Valencia, Real Betis, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke, could replace compatriot Pablo Zabaleta at the London Stadium.

Jeremy Ngakia has also departed with his contract expiring three weeks ago, though another youngster Ben Johnson has stepped up impressively over the last few matchdays.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

In other news, Report: Newcastle want to offload Christian Atsu amid claims Celtic officials have held talks