"He's a young player with potential, probably more so for the future," says West Ham boss David Moyes
Thursday 9 January 2020 13:46, UK
West Ham have agreed a deal in principle to sign Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes on an 18-month loan without an option to buy.
The Premier League club have been in continued negotiations with Benfica over the signing of Fernandes, with West Ham initially offering an 18-month loan with an obligation to buy for £33m.
Benfica held a board meeting on Thursday to discuss the final conditions of the proposed deal for the 21-year-old.
Asked about Fernandes ahead of Friday's Sky Live trip to Sheffield United, West Ham boss David Moyes said "We won't be bringing in a bundle of players and obviously we'd like to add to the squad if we can.
"He's one name which we're talking about."
Asked to confirm if a deal had been agreed, he added: "I couldn't tell you since I've come in from training to the press conference. Maybe something has been done but I can't confirm that at the moment."
"He's a young player with potential, probably more so for the future. He's got good pedigree and I'd like to bring in young players in for the future, who we can look to build upon and get a nice strong young team.
"But also, I have to be very wary that I need players who are ready for now and can feature in the first team as well."
Sky Sports News understands Chelsea also made an offer for Fernandes, which is believed to be an 18-month loan with an obligation to buy for £55m.
Benfica are said to be more favourable of West Ham's latest offer as they think Fernandes is more likely to maintain his value at the London Stadium where they feel he will get more first-team opportunities.
Chelsea's offer for Fernandes is dependent on the Portugal international playing at least 50 per cent of games during his loan spell at Stamford Bridge.
The midfielder is believed to favour a move to the Premier League and his preferred destination is understood to be London for family reasons.
Fernandes' release clause is £102m but Benfica have already conceded they will not get close to that figure for a player who is out of favour and is reported to have fallen out with head coach Bruno Lage.
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