West Ham Launch £12m Midfielder Raid

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With Joao Mario close to completing his loan move to the London Stadium, West Ham are set to raid the Championship for another midfielder, reports the Eastern Daily Press.

Norwich City’s James Maddison was scouted by the Hammers during the FA Cup third round replay at Chelsea, with David Moyes urging the club to bid for the England Under-21 international.

West Ham’s opening bid of £12m is believed to be well short of the Canaries valuation for the promising midfielder. However, it’s by no means certain that this will be their last bid of the January transfer window.

The arrival of Joao Mario will represent a successful winter’s window for Moyes whose West Ham side were hit by injury to Marko Arnautovic recently. The Austria international will be out for a fortnight, highlighting the fragility of the Hammers squad.

Maddison’s contract was recently renewed until June 2021, giving the Canaries a strong negotiating position for the 21-year-old. Manchester City, Liverpool and former club Tottenham are all reported to have watched the youngster in recent months.

It’s understood that Norwich, having recently lost Alex Pritchard to Huddersfield Town and Cameron Jerome to Derby County, would prefer to hold onto the midfielder until next summer to minimise damage to their fading promotion hopes.