By George Overhill

16th Mar, 2022 | 2:10pm

West Ham to miss out on Divock Origi signing as AC Milan take pole position

West Ham look set to miss out on the free transfer of Liverpool’s Divock Origi, with AC Milan looking like his next destination, reports Calciomercato.

The club are known to be in the market for a striker, and were thought to be interested during the January transfer window, but appear unlikely to bring in the man that Jurgen Klopp referred to as “legend” in December following one of the Belgian’s trademark late winners (Guardian).

Teamtalk reports that the Hammers and Newcastle are two clubs who would want to keep him in the Premier League, but the Italians are now in pole position.

Milan legend Paulo Maldini is apparently the man driving the move from the Serie A club’s side with Calciomercato reporting: “The Rossoneri technical director was captivated by the qualities of the 26-year-old Belgian international in the recent match at San Siro where he had also scored.”

Missed opportunity

It was a surprise that David Moyes didn’t make a move for the 26-year-old in January, with a gaping whole behind Michail Antonio in the squad.

The Irons were apparently in for numerous forwards around Europe, without finding one that was legitimately available at that time, and finished up with nobody.

After the Reds brought in Luis Diaz from Porto it became clear that Origi could be available, and with just six months on his contract at the time, only a small fee would have been necessary.

Fabrizio Romano expects the club to revisit the failed bid for Darwin Nunez in the summer, reporting on Twitter that they now have “good chances” compared to their doomed attempt during the winter window.

That may be a deal worth pursuing, but the major cost and the expected competition from Arsenal could make it difficult.

A cheap alternative, or indeed additional, recruit in the form of the Anfield forward would have made plenty of sense.

The international has a reputation for coming up with crucial goals on big occasions, without ever being the number one front man, so whether it is as support for Antonio or someone like Nunez, it seems a big missed opportunity to let Origi go begging.

In other West Ham news, The Athletic shares how little Andriy Yarmolenko has been able to train before his goalscoring return.

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