By Jack Patmore.
Premier League clubs will be at the top of the list when it comes to being offered the chance to sign players, whether that be from agents or selling clubs, but they do not always proceed with the transfer.
Clubs are given the opportunity to sign a wide range of players but with most of them being on the younger side with a lack of experience, most teams dismiss these requests.
On some occasions, this has come back to bite some teams — including West Ham United. It has been publicly stated some of the players that they have missed out on and today, they will certainly regret not pushing harder to sign some.
Perhaps one of the most gifted players of a generation, Neymar has had a glistening career which has included winning the UEFA Champions League. Despite still not picking up a piece of silverware with the Brazil senior team, he has represented his country on over 100 occasions.
In 2010, when the Hammers had just managed to retain their Premier League status, they were reportedly prepared to break their transfer record to bring the then-18-year-old to England. However, they did not want to pay the fee Santos demanded and he later joined Barcelona. Neymar went on to have a spectacular career in Catalonia, instead of in east London.
The former Ivorian international was known for turning up on the big occasions, most notably scoring a last-gasp equaliser against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final.
West Ham were looking into acquiring Drogba’s services during his time at Galatasaray. He joined the Turkish outfit from Chelsea but he opted to return to Stamford Bridge instead of West Ham. They also had another chance to sign Drogba a few years before that but he signed for Marseille instead.
“I was at Guingamp at that time,” Drogba told Sky Sports News. “I’d just arrived at the club and they came to my house and spoke, but it didn’t happen. I wasn’t ready to go.”
Kante, before his injury struggles in recent times, was dominating Premier League midfields for a number of years in the blue of Leicester City and then Chelsea. He has lifted a FIFA World Cup, two Premier League titles and a Champions League title — not a bad career.
Following an impressive season at Caen in France, Kante was a wanted man. The Hammers were interested but the Frenchman went to Leicester City where he went on to have an impeccable season as the Foxes defied the odds to lift the 2015/16 Premier League title. After one season in the east Midlands, Chelsea came calling and paid £32m for his services.
Known for his ruthless finishing and speedy movement, Cavani, now at Valencia, was once on the radar of West Ham. The Uruguayan shone during his time at Napoli and PSG where he netted over 200 times, but he could have played in claret and blue.
After Craig Bellamy left for Manchester City, the Hammers were seeking a replacement for the Welsh striker. Cavani was at Palermo at the time and after a stellar campaign, West Ham were reportedly in for his signature but he went on to move to Napoli.
The Portuguese winger, despite being on the sidelines at the moment, has impressed at Liverpool in his opening year on Merseyside. Díaz played an instrumental part in the Reds’ push for the quadruple last season, even if they failed to pick up all four trophies.
In January 2022, West Ham were in advanced talks with Porto for his signature but Liverpool stepped in and paid an initial £37m fee.
David Moyes has even revealed that they were close to signing the Columbian but it has to be said that if both offers were on the table, he would likely still have joined Liverpool.
This is the most recent of all of these potential transfers — Manchester City’s Julián Álvarez was once linked to West Ham. His stock rose even further as he was part of the Argentina team that lifted the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
On The Diary of a CEO podcast with Steven Bartlett, Moyes revealed that they had the opportunity to sign the 22-year-old but he said it was “not the one we wanted.”
So far this season, at the time of writing, he has scored four in 15 Premier League outings. What could have been…