West Ham United are reportedly set to sign 25-year-old Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez in a £34 million deal.

According to a report by 90min, Premier League side West Ham United are closing in on the signature of Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez in the ongoing transfer window. The Hammers have agreed a £34 million deal with the Dutch giants, with the 25-year-old set to undergo a medical.

The Mexican star has been heavily touted to leave Ajax this summer and was previously linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund. However, that failed to materialise and the transfer fell through. London appears to be his new destination with the Hammers closing in fast.

The Hammers’ opening bid for the midfielder was £30 million, and Ajax subsequently made a counter offer. Finally, fee of £34 million has proven enough for the transfer to go through. It represents excellent value for a player who can come in and replace former skipper and new Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice.

The Hammers won the UEFA Europa Conference League last season, giving them a boost heading into the summer. However, they have failed to take advantage of it and are yet to replace Rice heading into the 2023/24 season opener.

Alvarez can be considered a like-to-like replacement for Rice. Not only can the 25-year-old excel in the defensive midfielder’s role but can also supplement the rearguard by acting as an auxiliary centre-back when needed. This versatility should give David Moyes options should he want to shift things up.

A verbal agreement for the Mexican star was already struck last week, and he is expected to pen a long-term deal at the London Stadium soon. The 25-year-old has been keen to make the move and could become the Irons’ new darling in the middle of the park.

A strong tackler, Alvarez thrives on ball retention and should impress alongside Tomas Soucek in the West Ham midfield. He is also an able ball carrier who can also help connect the defence to the attack.

West Ham were earlier keen on Fulham star Joao Palhinha. But the Cottagers’ asking price has proven to be a major hindrance. The 28-year-old’s injury in pre-season has more or less ended the Hammers’ pursuit, and they went all in for Alvarez. Unless there is a late twist in the tale, the Mexican should soon don the colours of West Ham.

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