West Ham United are in advanced talks over the £18 million signing of Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Denmark international’s Camp Nou career turned out to be every bit as underwhelming as we all knew it would be.
Superstar striker Luis Suarez might have tipped Braithwaite to ‘surprise people’ in Catalonia but, once the Uruguayan was fit and firing again after a spell on the sidelines, one of the most controversial signings in Barcelona’s history was destined for a life on the bench.
After joining from Leganes in an emergency transfer back in February, Braithwaite started a grand total of four La Liga matches, scoring once, as Barca gift-wrapped their crown and handed it over to rivals Real Madrid.
Leganes, meanwhile, were doomed to relegation without their star man, shafted as they were by a ridiculous piece of legislation which does nothing for the reputation of the always bewildering Spanish Football Federation.
Now, Braithwaite looks destined to depart.
It is no secret that cash-strapped Barca are desperate to raise funds and, fortunately, West Ham are set to come calling for a player who has almost redefined what it means to be a ‘fringe player’.
The Hammers are reportedly in advanced talks as they close in on an £18 million deal for the former Middlesbrough ace.
In truth, however, the criticism of Braithwaite has bordered on the ridiculous at times. The former Toulouse ace was excellent at Leganes, providing a link between midfield and attack with his intuitive movement and skill on the ball.
“He was playing really well, he was exceptional. He looked in every game like he was going to score goals for us,” ex-Boro boss Tony Pulis told the Hartlepool Mail in 2018.