By Danny Wright
West Ham are set to miss out on signing Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina, according to a report.
Italian news outlet CalcioMercato claims on their English website that the 23-year-old is now set for a switch to Southampton with terms almost agreed between the player and the clubs involved.
It is understood that the Gabon international will undergo a medical at West Ham’s Premier League rivals Southampton on Monday, something which Sky Sports journalist Fabrizio Romano has also reported on his personal Twitter account.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 5, 2017
Lemina is said to have been valued between £18million and £20million by Juventus, who could have been looking to offload the central midfielder after he failed to earn much game-time in the first-team last season.
The six-times Gabon international featured 29 times across all competitions for Juve last season as they went on to win the Serie A title.
He scored one goal and supplied one assist in that time on the pitch, but he was reduced to just eight starts in the Italian top-flight as he had to deal with a call up to the African Cup of Nations as well as a back injury.
Calcio Mercato reported earlier this week that West Ham had Lemina on their radar and were ready to open the bidding for him.
Football Insider Verdict
This is a big blow for West Ham as they have missed out on signing what could have been their best midfielder. Lemina is a great player to have in the middle of the pitch, he’s athletic, hard working and is extremely versatile in both attacking and defensive phases of play. The Hammers have already spent bid this summer on Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic, but they are yet to sort out the centre of midfield, which still looks a bit short of creativity. Away from Manuel Lanzini, Slaven Bilic doesn’t have many players that can help his side force the ball up the pitch and supply players like Arnautovic and Hernandez with the goals. David Gold has previously suggested that he doesn’t need any midfielders, but he should certainly think about re-evaluating that stance.
In other West Ham news, the Irons are planning to bring in this £20m-rated Championship player.