West Ham

West Ham fail with last-gasp move for Duvan Zapata

Duvan Zapata was a late target for West Ham
Duvan Zapata was a late target for West Ham / Ciancaphoto Studio/GettyImages

West Ham made a last-ditch effort to sign Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata on deadline day, 90min can confirm.

The 30-year-old had been strongly tipped to link up with Newcastle during the January transfer window, but the Magpies' attention was diverted towards Hugo Ekitike and Jesse Lingard in the final few days of the month – only to see deals for both players fall through.

David Moyes' Hammers were also in the market for a striker, with the Scot alluding to the need to bring in cover for Michail Antonio on several occasions, and they had looked towards Benfica striker Darwin Nunez with just a day of the window to go.

But the Portuguese giants, perhaps unsurprisingly, were not prepared to sanction an exit for Nunez – who has been in terrific goalscoring form during 2021/22 – because they would have been unable to replace their primary source of goals at such short notice.

That led to an 11th-hour bid from West Ham for Atalanta striker Zapata, who was very interested in joining, but again the club were left disappointed as they were unable to conclude a deal.

A deal sheet was even submitted to the Premier League, which 90min understands was for a loan with option to buy, but a move for the Colombian did not transpire.

It means West Ham go into the second half of the season having failed to sign a single player in January.

As well as Nunez and Zapata, the club missed out on their primary defensive target, Marseille's Duje Caleta-Car, and Leeds duo Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips, who the club had sizeable bids rejected for.

Michail Antonio remains the Hammers' only recognised striker as a result, meaning Jarrod Bowen and Andriy Yarmolenko – who usually operate on the right side of a front three in rotation – will need to fill in through the middle if the Jamaican is ever injured or suspended.

17-year-old Sonny Perkins, who has featured in the Europa League and FA Cup, is a less established option available from the academy.