The West Ham boss is hoping is that Aguerd – a left-footed centre-back who will immediately improve the defence and who, at 26-year-old, has both his best years ahead of him and has a high potential resale value – can be the first domino to fall in Moyes’ dream plan.
The Hammers boss reportedly wants six new arrivals this summer who will all strengthen the team as they prepare to compete in four competitions next season, including a maiden appearance in the UEFA Europa Conference League. Those new arrivals will compensate – and hopefully improve upon – those leaving, with David Martin, Mark Noble, Andriy Yarmolenko and Ryan Fredericks all being released at the end of their contracts.
On top of that, the club will look to move on players like Issa Diop, Arthur Masuaku and Said Benrahma, while there will once again be continued speculation over Declan Rice’s immediate future, despite Moyes insisting it would take an enormous amount of money to convince the club to sell their star player.
So, with as many as seven first-team players potentially departing this summer, a lot of emphasis is being placed on not only replacing but upgrading those that leave. Aguerd’s arrival gets things going on that front while Alphonse Areola could be the next domino to fall into place.
The French keeper is discussing personal terms with the club over a five-year deal. Once those have been agreed upon, the Hammers will trigger a clause in his loan contract from last season that gives them the right to purchase Areola from PSG for around £11million.
There is also a lot of interest in Chelsea striker Armando Broja after he impressed in games against West Ham while on loan at Southampton last season. The 20-year-old has now been identified as Moyes’ top striker target this summer as the manager wants to give Michail Antonio support up front, with the Hammers reportedly set to table a £30million bid.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuhcel – who could have a big say in negotiations with chairman Bruce Buck stepping away and director Marina Granovskaia’s future uncertain – will give Broja a chance to impress him in pre-season but could have his resolve tested if the Hammers are persistent with their pursuit of the Albania international.
Broja scored nine goals in 38 appearances for the Saints last season, including one against West Ham in the FA Cup, but despite some early interest, the south coast side have reportedly pulled themselves from the running to bring him back to St Mary’s, with the asking price and wage demands for the striker too high. Instead, West Ham’s biggest competition for Broja is coming from Napoli, who are keen to bring the forward to Italy.
Then there are spots to be filled at full-back where Manchester City’s Oleksander Zinchenko is of interest, while a left-winger and a central midfielder to compete with Rice and Tomas Soucek are also on the list. James Ward-Prowse is of interest but would not come cheap, while both Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj have also been considered.