Exclusive – West Ham’s hopes of signing Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez may have been dashed by their own decision to send an agent on their behalf to negotiate the deal – instead of a club official.
The Hammers looked set to sign Gomez after re-entering the chase earlier this week, after it was reported that the Uruguayan would prefer to move to London ahead of Champions League qualifiers Valencia.
Celta agreed to negotiate with West Ham even though they had already struck a deal with their Liga counterparts, as they were under the impression Gomez’s £45m release clause would be paid in full.
Instead, 90min understands that West Ham sent agent Will Salthouse to Vigo and an alternative payment structure was proposed. Said structure failed to trigger the clause as it was not an up front payment, and Celta instead opted to proceed with Valencia’s offer. Their proposal will see Celta receive £14.5m plus Santi Mina, while Jorge Sáenz will arrive on loan.
Salthouse was recommended to West Ham owner David Sullivan by his son Jack, even while not directly employed by the club. The Hammers chief agreed to go along with the proposal despite the concerns of club officials.
West Ham consider the Gomez deal dead, but still retain interest in Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson. The 27-year-old is a proven Premier League goalscorer – he notched 14 last season – and is a current England international.
The Cherries don’t wish to sell Wilson, though, and have no financial need to do so. They’re even hopeful Wilson will opt to sign a new £100,000-a-week contract to end speculation over his future, though may consider a sale if Wilson wishes to leave. Even still, the club are confident the deal will be completed before the start of the season.
Currently, West Ham have only two first-team strikers on their books – Javier Hernandez and Jordan Hugill – after Marko Arnautovic completed a £22.5 move to the Chinese Super League.