West Ham have agreed a fee in the region of £5million to sign one of the brightest defensive prospects around in FC Basel’s Fabian Schar, according to The Sun.
The Switzerland international revealed back in November that he is ready to move on from Basel, who are thought to be open to selling the 23-year-old, hence a host of clubs are on red alert.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United have all previously been linked with the centre-back but it appears that the Hammers have stolen a march on their Premier League rivals and are set to sign him in the summer.
If the deal does go through in the coming months Schar will be a great addition at Upton Park and one which sends out a statement of their intent. With Winston Reid tied down to a new contract, too, their defence will be stronger than many envisaged next term.
The defender has impressed playing in both the UEFA club competitions for the Swiss side in recent times and despite his tender years he has a wealth of top level experience. He’s played over 50 matches, scoring nine goals – impressive for a centre-half – and helped Basel claim back-to-back domestic league and cup doubles in the past two campaigns.
Top quality, affordable central defenders are hard to come by at the moment and should the Hammers secure Schar for the £5 million, as stated, it’ll be a huge coup considering the competition for his signature.
Strength in depth
West Ham have, as we all know, once again been left short on numbers at the back this season, with a defensive injury crisis hindering their hopes of securing a European qualification place. While James Collins and Cheikhou Kouyate have been in outstanding form, filling in for the usual pairing of Reid and James Tomkins, the addition of Schar would give some additional cover and would allow Kouyate to stay in his favoured midfield role – where he’s extremely influential.
On average this term Schar has made 2.1 tackles and 1.9 interceptions per game, Tomkins has made 2.2 tackles and 1.6 interceptions and Reid just 1.4 tackles and 1.7 interceptions. Schar’s performance levels are up there with the Hammers’ top defenders and should he adapt well to the Premier League he’ll prove to be a quality addition.
DEAL IS ON
Schar is one of Basel’s prized assets but their bargaining position is weakened by the fact that his contract expires in 2016, so they are thought to be willing to let him leave this summer at a cut price.
The defender has spoken of his desire to move to the Premier League and, providing none of the big spenders swoop in to steal him, he could well be on his way to east London.
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