West Ham are plotting a move for Real Betis defender Luiz Felipe, as David Moyes looks to improve his squad ahead of the new campaign.
With just three weeks to go until the start of the 2023/24 Premier League season, West Ham are looking to make additions to their squad. The Irons are armed with £105m after the sale of Declan Rice to Arsenal earlier this month, and David Moyes is keen to reinvest those funds to improve his squad that finished in the bottom half of the table last season.
In addition to signing a replacement for Rice, Moyes is eyeing defensive reinforcements in this transfer window. He has reportedly identified Real Betis’ Luiz Felipe as a target, but the Scotsman’s club faces competition from London rivals Chelsea for the defender’s signature.
Felipe, 26, joined Real Betis last summer after spending six years with Lazio, where he made over 140 appearances in all competitions. He made 23 La Liga appearances for Betis, helping the club achieve a sixth-place finish and subsequently a spot in the Europa League.
The one-cap Italy international had a fine debut season in Spain and, as a result of it, there is interest from clubs across Europe for his services. While Felipe still has four years left on his deal, Betis are ready to listen to offers for him this summer in order to ease their financial problems.
West Ham battling it out with Chelsea for Luiz Felipe
West Ham might have won the UEFA Europa Conference League last season but they struggled in the Premier League. David Moyes’ side somehow managed to secure top-flight safety after spending most of the season flirting with relegation.
Having leaked 55 goals in the league last term, it is no surprise Moyes has made the signing of a central defender one of his top priorities of the transfer window. With Angelo Ogbonna past his prime, Nayef Aguerd enduring an injury-hit debut season and Craig Dawson departing for Wolves in January, Moyes wants to bolster his defensive ranks by signing Felipe as he hopes for a better next campaign.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are undergoing a squad rebuild after having a disastrous last campaign, finishing 12th in the table as a result. They have appointed Mauricio Pochettino as the new manager, and the Argentinean’s major focus is now on securing the signing of highly-coveted Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo.
However, an unfortunate ACL injury to Wesley Fofana has changed Pochettino’s plans a bit. While the Blues are still keen on getting a deal done for Caicedo, signing a new central defender has become their priority at this juncture. And Felipe is among the list of potential defensive options Chelsea are considering to replace the injured Fofana in the squad.
With both West Ham and Chelsea interested in signing Betis defender Felipe, it will be interesting to see who wins the battle.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.