West Ham United have reportedly been knocked back once again in their pursuit of Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd.
According to Football Insider, West Ham United have been knocked back in their pursuit of Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd.
The Moroccan international joined the Ligue 1 side last summer. He made 40 appearances across all competitions, scoring three goals and making one assist. A very good defender with an excellent passing range, he is equally proficient in the air.
Rennes have no intention of selling the 25-year-old and have rebuffed an offer of £17million from West Ham for his services. The Hammers had earlier failed with a £15m offer for the player. The Londoners appear to have no intentions to make an improved third bid, while Rennes have made it clear that the player isn’t for sale. Who blinks first remains to be seen.
A new central defender is clearly on the agenda at the London Stadium this summer. With Fabian Balbuena no more at the club and Angelo Ogbonna not getting any younger, David Moyes will need to bring in a reliable partner for Issa Diop.
Both Duje Caleta-Car and Nikola Milenkovic have also been linked with a move to West Ham. Aguerd is in a different league and has what it to become the best defender in Moyes’s squad.
The Moroccan dominates Caleta-Car and Milenkovic, and Diop when it comes to several parameters. He is easily the best passer of the lot and completed 90.4 per cent on his attempts last season. Caleta-Car came in second at 86 per cent. Diop meanwhile is a distant fourth at 82 per cent. Aguerd also won 3.5 aerial duels per game last season.
His numbers show his potential and the gulf that exists between him and the other players on West Ham’s radar. Signing him is a no brainer for the Londoners. The Rennes ace is a player who will add solidity, strength, and the ability to pass from the back. The 25-year-old is also quick and often press ahead to close down opposition attackers. He is also comfortable defending on the wing and has some experience playing at left-back.
This trait could very well be a boon for Moyes should he shift to a three-person defence sometime this season. Averaging 1.1 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game last season, Aguerd is not afraid to get stuck in when needed. This combative nature is what could help him thrive in the Premier League.
Rennes signed Aguerd for a measly £3.6m in 2020, and his value has since multiplied. Signing him would be a wise move for West Ham as they look to build on last season’s sixth-placed finish. While there is still work to be done, the Hammers will be well-served by putting all their eggs in one basket as far as a new centre-back this summer is concerned. Aguerd could be the clear answer.