Stade de Reims midfielder Prince Oniangue has held talks with West Ham United over a prospective transfer to the Premier League club.
Sky Sports have reported that West Ham first made contact with Ligue 1 club Reims following the end of the season. While talks are still on-going, a deal is yet to be agreed for the DR Congo international.
Fast moves from Big Sam
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce appears to be moving relatively fast in the transfer market to atone for the errors of last season, when his defensive style of football was routinely panned by fans and pundits alike.
Last season was something of an 'annus horribilis' for the east London club, with dour, defensive football coupled with relegation fears making for a somewhat miserable season. But with the signings of Argentinian striker Mauro Zarate from Velez Sarfield and midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate from Anderlecht as well as the addition of ex-West Ham star Teddy Sheringham should see an upturn in fortunes.
A number of clubs interested
West Ham however are just one of a number of clubs reported to be chasing Oniangue’s signature, with reports that fellow Premier League club Newcastle and newly promoted teams Queens Park Rangers and Burnley are extremely keen to sign the midfielder.
French-born Oniangue is a defensive midfielder, who is equally adept operating in defence. Having spent his formative years at Caen and Rennes, he made his debut for Rennes in 2008, making a total of five appearances for the French club.
An impressive player
Following a loan spell to Angers, Oniangue joined Tours in 2010, where he had a relatively successful spell, scoring 13 goals in 84 appearances. This brought a move to Reims, where his physical, hefty approach brought him eight goals in 20 appearances and now it seems his impressive form has brought overtures from the Premier League. Oniangue is also a Republic of Congo international scoring one goal in 14 appearances.
Reims fans and manager Jean Luc-Vasser will surely loath to lose the 25-year-old powerhouse, especially after finishing in mid table mediocrity. Having recently returned to Ligue 1 after a conspicuous 33 year absence, the club will surely hope that by keeping their prized asset, they would be in a position to push on and perhaps challenge the big guns of Marseille, Monaco, Paris St-Germain etc when it comes to domestic honours and European qualification.
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