West Ham to pay Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez’s £43.5m release clause after Arnautovic signs contract extension

The club are reported to be ready to pay for the Uruguayan after agreeing a deal with want-away star Marko Arnautovic to remain at the London Stadium until the end of the season.

The Hammers hope to secure the 22-year-old’s signature before the transfer window closes on Thursday on the basis that they will loan him straight back to Celta until May.

The La Liga side are mired in a relegation battle, currently sitting fourth from bottom of the table and with no wins in six league games.

Despite this, Gomez has scored nine goals and provided five assists in 18 league games this term – and could be the perfect replacement for Arnautovic.

The Austrian ended the speculation over his immediate future this weekend by posting a social media message in which he pledged his short-term future to West Ham.

He is believed to have wanted a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League in this transfer window, but with no concrete offers forthcoming has been persuaded to stay in east London for the remainder of this term.

Arnautovic has signed a contract extension until 2023 believed to contain performance-related enhancements, and in return will be allowed to leave for the right price in the summer.

West Ham have already had one bid for Gomez rebuffed but have now indicated a readiness to trigger the player’s release clause – which would make him the most expensive acquisition in their history.

The fee due to Celta for the striker would comfortably eclipse the £36 million the Hammers paid Lazio for Felipe Anderson last summer.

Gomez joined the Spanish side in 2017 and has struck an impressive 26 goals in 58 appearances in all competitions for the club.

He was also a part of Uruguay’s 2018 World Cup squad, making two appearances in the competition from the bench.

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