West Ham were on the cusp of signing Luis Diaz in the January transfer window before being pipped to the post by Liverpool, David Moyes has revealed.
Diaz was courted by both Tottenham Hotspur and the Reds but Moyes believes his side were further along than any other suitors right until the last moment when Jurgen Klopp brought forward his summer plans and concluded a deal that could rise to £50 million.
Moyes admitted that he was aware of Liverpool’s interest in a summer move so was keen to complete his own deal for the forward in January.
“It’s true I spoke with Luis Diaz on the phone and we were quite far down the line to sign him from Porto. My understanding is Liverpool were going to come in for him in the summer, and I was going to try and get him in January,” Moyes said.
“I don’t know if us trying to get him in January affected Liverpool’s decision but he’s a really good player.”
The manager added: “I had a conversation with Luis Diaz on the phone, with an interpreter and his agent. I really hoped that he was going to choose West Ham.”
Diaz has settled quickly at Anfield, netting his first goal in just his second start and playing a key role off the bench in the Champions League last-16 win over Inter Milan.
West Ham’s failure to land Diaz was not for the want of trying according to Moyes but his success already at Liverpool is a sign that the Hammers are only looking at players of top quality and are not prepared to settle for anything less.
“We didn’t get him in but our ambition to sign the best players to improve West Ham is good. I want to make us better and I don’t want it to be mediocre if I can help it,” Moyes added.
“Sometimes you just need to be patient and hope you can get the right things at the right time. That’s the way I’ve chosen to make my decisions here, rather than bringing in people who are not quite going to fit the bill.”
With Spurs understood to be keen on the Colombian international and Liverpool eventually getting a deal over the line Moyes was disappointed to miss out but is unsure if there was a straight three-way choice for Diaz to make.
“I really don’t know,” Moyes said on whether it was a three-way battle for Diaz. “But I had a period where I thought we were on our own.
“We spoke with the agent in London and got it moving. Then other clubs came onto it. The club were ready to make offers for the correct players and sadly we didn’t quite get there”