Nayef Aguerd will all but certainly leave the London Stadium this summer after two seasons of ups and downs.

Our Podcast co-host and club insider ExWHUEmployee has stated that the Moroccan will depart the club in this transfer window. Despite some good spells in claret and blue, the club haven’t been overly impressed with the defender and his attitude. The club hope to recoup the £30m paid for the defender in July 2022.

It was heavily reported that Nayef Aguerd refused to play for the club before leaving for the Ivory Coast to represent Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations. While it was reported as an illness, many believed there was more to it and that he wasn’t committed to playing for West Ham.

After returning from AFCON, Aguerd fell out of favour with David Moyes. He appeared in just five of the final sixteen games in the Premier League and didn’t start in any of the four Europa League knockout ties.

When Julen Lopetegui was hired, many West Ham fans thought he would have loved to use Nayef Aguerd. Despite his defensive weaknesses, there is no denying his talents on the ball. His passing ability over a long distance helped create plenty of goals over the past couple of seasons. This would have suited the Spaniards style to a tee, but it looks like the club want to go in another direction and maybe replace him with a younger defender.

The 28-year-old has recently been linked to a move to Atletico Madrid in recent weeks, and he is reportedly interested in moving to the Spanish capital. His former club Rennes also reportedly have a strong interest, and could pay for than Atleti. However, he is said to be keen on a new challenge. It is unlikely that either club will get close to West Ham’s valuation.
Aguerd has also been linked to a move to Italy previously, Fabrizio Romano reported in January that AC Milan and AS Roma made inquiries about the defender. However, a move was out of both clubs price range.

A transfer that looks more likely, and would be more favourable to West Ham is a move to Saudi Arabia. Last summer, after lifting the Conference League, Aguerd was heavily linked to a move to the Middle East. However, at the time he was considered a top centre-back at the club and he was more than happy to stay. However, now that has changed the club will be hoping that interest returns for both him and Kurt Zouma, who is too likely to leave the club this summer.

With Aguerd heading for the exit and Ogbonna already gone, the club will need to sign at least one left sided centre back. This could potentially spark a move for Max Kilman who impressed under Lopetegui in his short stint at Wolves. A move for Burnley’s Maxime Esteve could also be a possibility, but his call up for France’s Olympic squad could put the Hammers off of a move.

A recent report from Ex said that the club are still very much exploring the Brazilian market for central defenders after the failed move for Fabricio Bruno. After completing the signing of Luis Guilherme, Tim Steidten is still in Brazil trying to wrap up a deal for Shakhtar Donetsk defender Vitao, who has spent the past two seasons on loan at Internacional. The 24-year-old has also been linked to a move to Nottingham Forest and Villarreal.

The Hammers are also in talks with Robert Renan, another Brazilian based in Russia. He is owned by Zenit St. Petersburg, but spent last season on loan at Internacional, partnering Vitao. This could potentially be a more appealing move for the club as he is younger a just 20-years-old and is left-footed meaning he could directly replace Nayef Aguerd.

The club could potentially bring both in to improve depth in the position, however Ex has reported that like the Bruno deal, it is proving hard to conclude. A move for Hull City defender is one to keep an eye on, as domestic deals are a lot simpler to get completed.