By Daniel Feliciano

31st May, 2022 | 6:15am

Nayef Aguerd has taken pics with West Ham United shirt ahead of move, Areola close too

West Ham United are close to signing Alphonse Areola and Nayef Aguerd, with the defender already taking pictures holding the shirt according to ExWHUemployee.

The Hammers have been linked with several names already this summer since the season ended as David Moyes looks to bolster his squad ahead of the new season.

But speaking on The West Ham Way podcast [May 30], club insider ExWHUemployee shared that two deals closest to being done are for the French duo and even shared when official confirmation could come for the Rennes defender.

“In terms of signing at the moment, I think the two that are closest at the moment are the double A’s – Areola and Aguerd,” he said.

“Obviously Areola, as we know, was on loan last season from PSG. There’s a £10m release clause, the problem was that we’re weighing up his wages because he’s on about £125,000 per week.

“If he signed for West Ham, that would make him the highest paid player, and if he’s going to be the highest paid player but be back up keeper it does cause a few squad related issues so they’re going to look at a way around that.

“Nick Pope was an alternative goalkeeper. He would command a higher transfer fee but lower wage.

“There’s also been speculation that we’re looking at Real Madrid’s back-up Ukrainian keeper. He’s meant to be a decent shot stopper but at the moment the club favour, or certainly Moyes does, favours the option of Areola because of what he’s done for us before and knows that he gets on with the lads.

“Fulham are said to be looking at him, his former club, and obviously got promoted this year. I think that might speed us up to try and get a deal completed. As far as I’m aware it’s not a done deal as yet but Areola is the preferred choice out of all of them.

“I’ve spoken to a couple of people in the club who have all confirmed it [Aguerd signing].

“There were even photos taken of him with the shirt, so unless things have dramatically changed and this doesn’t happen, because I don’t believe it’s a done deal, but I would be surprised if he doesn’t sign.

“It may be even announced on the day that the kits are launched, whenever that is.”

Early business

One thing the Hammers have been accused of in the past is taking too long to get their business done, but it seems as though they’re learning from their mistakes.

If Ex is right, and he usually is, this would be two big transfers done quickly for the club ahead of what is expected to be a really busy summer for the club.

A central defender was seen as a priority, while Areola was a key target for the manager to get over the line to keep the group together from last season and carry that momentum over to next season.

While neither deal is completely done yet, they seem to be heading in the right direction and now attentions can turn to other areas of the squad that need to be strengthened.

It’s great news and sooner or later we should be able to welcome these two players to the London Stadium are full-time Hammers players.

In other West Ham news, the club are willing to let one first-team ace leave after Euro interest

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