Manuel Pellegrini is looking to bolster his squad options quickly as he closes in on a deal for Barcelona defender Marlon Santos. The young Brazilian has drawn many admirers on loan at Nice this season but according to The Sun, it is West Ham who are believed to be leading the race for his signature.
West Ham are looking to adopt a new, more attractive approach after former manager David Moyes was sacked at the end of the season. Poor form and negative tactics have led to fans protests that have marred their recent history since a move to the Olympic Stadium.
The board had hoped the huge platform and increased revenue would help kick the team on to the next level after a seventh-place finish in 2016. It hasn’t really gone according to plan however, but the board hopes the appointment of former Manchester City manager will turn around the clubs fortunes.
Pellegrini’s title-winning Manchester City side scored 151 goals in all competitions, West Ham will be hoping he can add a bit of that flair and quality to their side. The Chilean was only appointed last week but looks to waste no time in making his mark on the team and is already targeting his first signing.
Santos began his career at Brazilian side Fluminense before Barcelona moved him to their development team. He has yet to make an appearance for the first team but he impressed on a loan spell at Ligue 1 side Nice.
The 22-year-old has drawn comparisons with former Hammers favourite Rio Ferdinand with the club hopeful he can replicate some of that success. With James Collins already departing the club, it seems the agile centre-half would be a suitable upgrade for the Hammers next season.
Santos could form part of a new look back line for West Ham next season with the futures of Patrice Evra, Sam Byram and Pablo Zabaleta also up for debate.