West Ham have completed the signing of Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd.
The Moroccan defender has signed a five-year contract with David Moyes’ Hammers, in a deal that will cost the east Londoners around £30million, including add-ons.
Aguerd is Moyes’ first foray into the transfer window, as West Ham plan to improve their squad ahead of a season that will see them combine Premier League improvement with a debut campaign in the Europa Conference League.
“I was really excited when I heard about the interest from West Ham United,” said Aguerd. “When I heard about it, I knew I had to go to the Premier League because it’s a dream for every player.
“West Ham are a historic club. I’ve seen a few of their games this year, and I’ve seen the fans and the atmosphere was fantastic, with the bubbles! I spoke with the manager and he told me showed he was very interested, so it was easy to choose to come to West Ham.”
“I am delighted to welcome Nayef to West Ham United,” added Moyes. “We’ve been following his progress for some time and I’m very happy that we were able to complete the signing. He’s a great addition that will add to our defensive options.
“I was really impressed with Nayef’s character and attitude during our discussions. He has a great desire to improve and succeed, and I’m sure he will fit in very well with the environment. that we have at Rush Green.”
The 26-year-old arrived in London last week to complete his medical. A source has told Sky Sports News that Newcastle have also shown an interest in Aguerd, although the Magpies are also keen on Lille’s Sven Botman.
West Ham continue to work on a deal for PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who was on loan at the Hammers last season. They are expected to trigger the option to buy clause – estimated at £11million – they must buy Areola once the personal terms are finalised.
Two other clubs are believed to have shown interest in Areola, but West Ham remain hopeful of a deal.
‘Aguerd a fantastic signing’
French football expert Julien Laurens speaking on Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast:
“I think he’s a great signing because he’s left-footed but it’s not just that, he’s a soft left foot. He has good technical ability for a centre-back, which is quite rare.
“He’s big, quick and reads the game well and is a threat from set pieces. He’s scored goals from set pieces attackingly and we know how good West Ham are from set pieces. He’s going to be another weapon in that armor on top of everything Whether he’s playing with Craig Dawson, Kurt Zouma or in a back 3 like Angelo Ogbonna who’s also back from injury He’s young too He’s a fantastic recruit.
“He’s going to the World Cup, so for a first season in England where you have to adapt, leaving six weeks and coming back Boxing Day can be a bit tricky. He’s a really talented lad and polished too. He has his feet on the ground, I couldn’t say more good things about him.”
What other positions are West Ham targeting?
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
David Moyes will receive cash to spend on continuing to strengthen his squad, with Mark Noble, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ryan Fredericks and David Martin all leaving at the end of their contracts.
One of the sagas of the summer will be the future of Declan Rice. West Ham have made it clear they won’t be selling him this summer, but you’d think they would find it difficult to turn down an offer of around £100m. Rice has two years left on his contract, but West Ham have the option of extending it for another year until the summer of 2025.
As well as defender Nayef Aguerd, they are also interested in Hull City striker Keane Lewis-Potter. There have also been talks about signing Jesse Lingard when his contract with Manchester United expires this month.
West Ham schedule
West Ham kick off the 2022/23 Premier League season with champions Manchester City visiting the London stadium, live on Sky Sports.
David Moyes’ side drew 2-2 in the first leg of the 2021/22 season, briefly giving Liverpool hope in the title race when they took a 2-0 lead.
West Ham, who eventually finished seventh and qualified for the Europa Conference League, follow City with a trip to newly promoted Nottingham Forest before Brighton, who they have never beaten in the Premier League, visit London Stadium.
The Hammers face Leicester at home on November 12 before the 2022/23 season break for the World Cup in Qatar and they will return to the Premier League on Boxing Day at the Emirates against Arsenal.
West Ham’s last home game of the season is against Leeds on May 20 before their campaign ends at Leicester City on May 28.
Moyes will find out who his team will face in the Europa Conference League play-off round (matches played on August 18 and 25), in the draw on Tuesday August 2.