By George Overhill

3rd Aug, 2022 | 9:40am

West Ham United make major breakthrough in pursuit of Lille midfielder Amadou Onana

West Ham have finally made the key breakthrough of having agreed a fee with Lille for Amadou Onana, according to Jacob Steinberg.

After having multiple previous bids rejected, Telefoot reporter Saber Desfarges in France reports that the accepted offer amounts to €40million total, with €35million up front and a further five million in bonuses.

It had previously been suggested that the Ligue 1 side wanted as much as £50million for the 20-year-old [90min], but it looks like significantly less has been enough.

Desfarges first wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening (2 August): “LOSC / West Ham agreement for Amadou Onana. Lille accepted an offer from the London club of 35 million euros + 5 bonuses. West Ham have now started contract negotiations with the Belgian player”.

That has since been confirmed by both Guardian reporter Steinberg and ExWHUemployee on their respective Twitter accounts on Wednesday morning, with the former pointing out that personal terms still need to be agreed with the youngster.

Half way there

It had always seemed like the hard part was going to be convincing Lille to part with the Belgian international, having only signed him from Hamburg in Bundesliga 2 a year ago.

The fact that he had a number of years left on his contract meant they were in a strong negotiating position, and if they were asking £50million it looked like it was going to be very expensive if the Hammers were willing to stick with it that far.

But now it looks like they have stuck with it and found a far more affordable solution, albeit still one for big money.

There is a risk factor involved with the pursuit of Onana, because he is still relatively unproven in terms of how much senior experience he has.

But in the short time he was been playing he has made major leaps so there is reason to believe that this could be a star in the making.

West Ham certainly think so, and the prospect of them adding him to a midfield that already contains arguably his English counterpart in Declan Rice, not to mention highly-rated summer signing Flynn Downes, will have fans very excited.

If the Irons are able to use some of the money they look to have saved on the fee to put an offer to the player that gets him to accept then this might end up being the club’s signing of the summer, even allowing for the arrival of Gianluca Scamacca.