​West Ham are believed to be preparing a summer bid for River Plate full-back Gonzalo Montiel, after reportedly having a loan bid for the Argentine rejected in January. 


The Hammers were said to have offered River £400,000 for the six-month loan of Montiel last month, with the potential deal also including an option to buy for £8.3m in the summer. 


But according to Argentinian media outlet El Intransige​ntedespite having their approach laughed off by the Argentine club, West Ham are ready to return with a permanent bid for Montiel as they look to replace Pablo Zabaleta - whose contract at the London Stadium expires at the end of the season.

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Montiel - who's been capped four times by his country - is believed to have a £12.5m release clause inserted into his current contract - one that will rise to more than £16m if it hasn't been triggered heading into the final 10 days of the transfer window.


Nevertheless, irrespective of whether they stay in the Premier League or not, West Ham are in dire need of defensive reinforcements. The club sit 18th in the table, a point adrift of safety, and it's their inability to keep goals out that's led to them being in a rather precarious position.


Through 25 Premier League games, the Hammers have conceded 43 goals - the third-worst defensive record in the division. 


And although it may have come too late, there's no doubt that Montiel would help shore things up. 

Gonzalo Montiel

The 23-year-old has established himself as a key figure in Marcelo Gallardo's side after coming through the River academy. The versatile defender has since played 85 times for the club, winning five major honours at the Estadio Monumental - including the Copa Libertadores in 2018.


However, after failing miserably to secure Montiel in January, West Ham are expected to face stiff competition from Southampton in the summer for right-back's signature.