West Ham United have been beaten to the signing of young Manchester City star Carlos Borges by Dutch giants Ajax, sources have confirmed to 90min.
The 19-year-old had looked to be heading to London Stadium in a deal worth just under £15m, having scored 21 goals at Premier League 2 level last season.
Europa Conference League holders West Ham had agreed to insert a buy-back clause into the deal for Borges, allowing City to re-sign the rapid winger in the future should he prove to be a star turn in east London. But with Borges away playing for Portugal’s Under-21s at the European Championship this summer, before taking a holiday, West Ham have not been able to iron out the final details of the deal.
And sources have now confirmed to 90min that former Champions League winners Ajax, who had a pretty poor 2022/23 by their usual standards, have stolen in ahead of West Ham to take Borges to Amsterdam.
It’s understood that personal terms are already agreed between Borges and Ajax, who will pay City the same amount of money West Ham were going to, and he’s now heading to the Netherlands to complete a medical.
One factor in his decision is believed to be a more appealing route into regular first team football, which may not have been on offer had he remained in the Premier League playing under David Moyes.
West Ham have turned down a loan to buy bid from Inter for wantaway striker Gianluca Scamacca.
90min previously revealed that the powerful Italian, who only joined West Ham from Sassuolo last summer, was keen to return to Italy, though the Hammers had no intention of letting him leave until a replacement had been sought.
The club’s recruitment team are yet to make any real progress on that front, despite technical director Tim Steidten recommending Montpellier striker Elye Wahi, but Scamacca is attracting significant interest from his homeland.
Roma had previously made West Ham a loan to buy offer worth close to €25m (£21.5m), but the bid was based on the club qualifying for the Champions League – something that West Ham felt was not a good enough guarantee.
Milan and Atalanta have also been showing interest in Scamacca, but sources have confirmed to 90min that Inter have made their first official move. They have also offered to take the the 24-year-old on loan initially, but their bid was only worth €2m for the duration of the loan deal before an obligatory purchase of €20m.
West Ham are believed to want €30m (£25.8m) for Scamacca, and it’s expected that Inter will up their offer having already an approach for Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun turned down.
One of the sagas of this summer, from a West Ham perspective, has been how to replace Declan Rice in midfield.
West Ham’s former captain pocketed the club a British-record £105m fee, with the deal including a significant chunk of that money up front – money that was earmarked to sign at least one replacement.
Contrasting opinions from Moyes and Steidten have seen West Ham identify a wide variety of potential targets, including Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse. The 28-year-old is facing up to the prospect of playing in the Championship following the south coast club’s relegation, but had shown interest in joining West Ham.
Moyes had pushed for West Ham to move for Ward-Prowse, but the club’s valuation of the set-piece specialist is noticeably different to how Southampton see things – they value him at £35m whereas West Ham’s offer this summer was only worth £20m.
Talks have continued, in the hope that the two parties could find a compromise, but at this stage there’s no willingness from either party to fold. West Ham have a number of other players to consider and are believed to have also been put off by Ward-Prowse’s current wage packet, which pockets him over £100,000-per-week.
Offers for Conor Gallagher and Joao Palhinha, both players Moyes has targeted because of Premier League experience, have also been rejected, meaning West Ham are no closer to replacing Rice almost three weeks after his departure was officially confirmed.