West Ham fear they have missed out on landing Maxi Gomez in a club record £45m deal.
Manuel Pellegrini hoped to hijack long-term target Gomez’s move to Valencia having made the Celta Vigo striker his top choice to replace Marko Arnautovic following his £22.5m move to Shanghai SIPG.
West Ham were ready to pay the amount stipulated in Gomez’s release clause but wanted to structure the payments rather than pay the full amount in one go which would have ensured his release.
Following days of talks West Ham are ready to concede defeat in their bid to pull off a late swoop with Valencia offering a package that looks set to prove more tempting for Celta.
They will pay £13m in cash plus forward Santi Mina and also allow Celta to take young centre back Jorge Saenz on loan, a deal that effectively also values Gomez at £45m.
Another potential target, Napoli’s Duvan Zapata who scored 29 goals last season for Colombia and on-loan at Atalanta, is also not for sale meaning West Ham will almost certainly have to go back to the drawing board in their search for a striker unless there is another twist in the Gomez saga.
Along with Arnautovic they have sold Lucas Perez and released Andy Carroll. They are also open to offers for their remaining two strikers Javier Hernandez and Jordan Hugill.