By 90Min
August 02, 2018

Manuel Pellegrini's summer spending spree is showing no signs of slowing down as it enters the final straight, with Lille midfielder Thiago Maia set to become the Chilean's eighth signing of the transfer window.

The Sun reports that a fee of £20m has been agreed between the two clubs, taking West Ham's summer outlay over the £100m mark.

Maia has a £50m release clause in his contract but Lille are on the verge of selling for less than half that price as they desperately try to raise funds in the midst of a precarious financial situation for the Ligue 1 club.

Maia was part of the Brazilian Olympic squad that won a gold medal on home soil in Rio de Janeiro two years ago.

He was signed from Santos by Marcelo Bielsa, now the Leeds manager, in a £12.6m deal last summer, making 34 league appearances in the 2017/18 season as Lille survived relegation by one point.

Pellegrini has been searching for a defensive midfielder all summer, and in Maia it seems he has found his man. The sale of Cheikhou Kouyate to Crystal Palace would suggest that he has a replacement lined up.

Soccrates Images/GettyImages

The Brazilian would become West Ham's third South American signing of the summer, following in the footsteps of his countryman Felipe Anderson and Paraguayan defender Fabian Balbuena.

Jack Wilshere, Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop and Andriy Yarmolenko have also been signed as West Ham's owners have made good on their promise to back Pellegrini in the transfer market.

The West Ham side that kicks off their Premier League season against Liverpool on 12 August will be almost unrecognisable from the one that finished last season under David Moyes.

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