Barcelona Reportedly Target Impressive Hammers Star Manuel Lanzini as Alternative to Coutinho

Thursday August 24th, 2017

La Liga giants Barcelona are allegedly targeting Manuel Lanzini, as a potential signing to ease the aftershock of Neymar's departure.

According to Argentinian journalist Cesar Luis Merlo, although Philippe Coutinho remains the Catalan club's biggest target, they could also move for the Argentine duo of Angel Di Maria and Manuel Lanzini, if they cannot land the Liverpool star this summer.

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Merlo was quoted on Twitter as saying: “Barcelona has serious interest in signing Angel Di Maria and Manuel Lanzini.”

Although somewhat surprising that Barca would move for Lanzini to replace a player of Neymar's calibre, the Hammers star has impressed for Slaven Bilic’s side since joining permanently from Al Jazira Club in the UAE, scoring eight goals last season and posing a constant threat to opponent’s defence.

His impressive dribbling skills also caught the interest of Liverpool and Arsenal, but Irons manager Slaven Bilic has insisted his midfield wizard will remain at the London Stadium.

Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

He was quick to downplay the sensational reports of interest in one of his best players saying: “I am sure he (Lanzini) is going to stay with us.

“I said it last week when we spoke out about it before the Manchester United game.

“He broke into the Argentina team, he got a call-up for the game in September so he knows that if he plays for West Ham he has a chance to improve, sign a better contract with West Ham and play for Argentina. He is very happy.”

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.