West Ham and Slaven Bilić have finally found a striker, but they had to dig deep and bring a player straight from Argentina. Jonathan Calleri, 22, will complete the signing from CD Maldonado in the next couple of days and CD Maldonado will get £17m for the player.
Calleri said during his ESPN interview, “I’ll be playing for Hammers! I’m just waiting for the work permit”. He is currently at Argentina camp, preparing for the Olympics in Rio.
Calleri is nicknamed Il Phenomeno, and this is how he earned his reputation.
Jonathan Calleri started his career in All Boys before moving to Boca Juniors and scoring 21 goals in 53 appearances. He was transfered to Uruguayan side Club Deportivo Maldonado in January for £9.5m. The player is owned by an investment group. Still somewhat of a diamond in the rough, Calleri is rapidly improving and already caught the attention of Tottenham in March but the transfer failed to materialize.
Calleri doesn’t have a work permit but could be granted an Italian passport as he qualifies through his grandparents, and in that case he wouldn’t need a work permit.
West Ham tried to lure many strikers into spearheading their attack on Olympic Stadium in 2016-17 but have been turned down by all their transfer targets so far. Zlatan Ibrahimović, Carlos Tevez, Carlos Bacca, Mario Mandžukić and Alexandre Lacazette all turned down West Ham.