West Ham United could complete bargain deals for Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha just a matter of months after failing to lure the Leeds United duo to the London Stadium, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
The Hammers were unable to welcome any fresh faces to east London during the winter window, but that was not for the want of trying as boss David Moyes set his sights on signing Phillips and Raphinha.
What’s the latest news involving Phillips and Raphinha?
West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold sanctioned bids totalling £100million for Phillips and Raphinha in January, meaning either one of them would have become the Hammers’ club-record signing, but Leeds opted to reject both big-money proposals.
However, Moyes’ interest in the duo has not gone away and it is understood that, amid Manchester United links, he wants to reunite Phillips with his England international team-mate Declan Rice at the heart of West Ham’s midfield.
The 26-year-old is also being coveted by Newcastle United and Aston Villa, so it is clear that Phillips could be presented with an abundance of options when the transfer window reopens.
Meanwhile, West Ham remain keen on winger Raphinha, although Barcelona appear to be at the front of the queue for his signature.
The Hammers and other suitors will be chomping at the bit after it emerged that Phillips and Raphinha are among a host of players who had release clauses written into their contracts by Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani and they can only be activated if they fail to maintain their Premier League status.
The buyout fee in Raphinha’s deal is understood to be £25million and, with the Whites in serious danger of dropping into the Championship, he and team-mate Phillips could be available for a fraction of what West Ham offered for the pair in January.
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What has Pete O’Rourke said about the duo?
O’Rourke has urged West Ham to go head-to-head with other suitors in a bid to welcome Phillips and Raphinha to the London Stadium, particularly with them potentially being on the market for cut-price fees.
The journalist told GIVEMESPORT: “They could be two relative bargains this summer if they do have relegation release clauses in their contracts at Leeds.
“Obviously, you’re going to face a lot of competition for the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, as we know, with Barcelona wanting Raphinha and the likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle and Manchester United all being linked with Kalvin Phillips as well.
“I think West Ham have got to be in there competing with these other clubs when you get players like this possibly available for decent fees.”
Why are Phillips and Raphinha of interest?
Raphinha, meanwhile, would offer a serious attacking threat after bagging 28 goals and assists for Leeds.
It is also clear that Moyes’ squad needs more strength in depth after booking their place in Europe for a second consecutive season.