By George Overhill

15th Aug, 2022 | 5:40pm

West Ham United want long-term target Hans Vanaken before window shuts - Dharmesh Sheth

West Ham are back after Club Brugge midfielder Hans Vanaken after failing in a previous attempt to sign him, Sky Sports man Dharmesh Sheth reports.

Off the back of a poor start to the season that has seen zero points from two, despite more than their fair share of bad luck factoring in, the Irons have been shocked into action in the transfer market.

As well as working on deals for two new defenders they are also turning their attentions back to the midfield where they have had a number of pursuits turn sour, and having seen an approach for Vanaken, 29, fail two seasons ago they are back in the hunt.

Writing on Twitter on Monday afternoon (15 August) Sheth said, to cap off a flurry of updates on Hammers business: “West Ham United interested in signing Club Brugge attacking midfielder Hans Vanaken.

“Vanaken is a Belgium international – 5 goals from 21 caps. West Ham are long term admirers – tried to sign him before.”

The Irons had previously made a strong play for Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski who plays in a similar position but were ultimately unsuccessful, and were snubbed by Jesse Lingard this summer after a year-long chase.


Injuries, VAR reviews, and the crossbar have all contributed to a start to the season which is the polar opposite of what fans had been hoping for.

Those issues can’t be prevented in the transfer market but it looks like the club are attempting to counter-act them with a late push to get players in.

Vanaken has contributed 173 goal contributions from midfield for the Belgian champions, scoring 101 himself, over the past seven seasons, plus the start of this one, [Transfermarkt] which are fantastic numbers for a player at that position.

Said Benrahma did his best to provide the guile to produce chances at the City Ground, having a goal disallowed for a perceived foul in the build up and hitting the bar with a free-kick, but a few chances went begging when they fell to Tomas Soucek.

Vanaken is productive and versatile, but at 29 there will be little resale value so the manager will surely need a plan for him to contribute right now, and it presumably won’t happen if the fee is too large.

Defence is the priority, but with moves for Thilo Kehrer and now Emerson Palmieri now advancing that appears to be getting dealt with.

A boost further forward would help, with no goals in two games as the new signings have not been deemed ready to start yet.

If he is reasonably priced and Moyes believes he can adapt to the Premier League on the fly a move for Belgian international could address the multiple frustrations on midfield and attacking targets this window while providing valuable creativity and goal-threat.