West Ham has lost out to Valencia for the signature of Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez, with the La Liga side confirming the deal on Sunday.
Valencia made the deal official on social media, bringing home the frontman on a complicated deal that included a $16 million fee plus a swap deal for 23-year-old striker Santi Mina plus a two-year loan for new Valencia signing Jorge Saenz who recently arrived from Tenerife.
According to the club, Gomez signed a five-year contract with Valencia and has a massive $158 million release clause. The 22-year-old Uruguay international has been massively prolific for Celta Vigo since arriving from Uruguayan side Defensor Sporting two years ago, scoring 31 goals in 71 La Liga matches over that span.
West Ham was heavily linked to Gomez, but according to reports, the player much preferred his new Spanish destination. In addition, English tabloids report West Ham was not willing to pay Gomez’s $56 million release clause up front, while Celta Vigo put together a more enticing offer. The Hammers will have to look elsewhere for a Marko Arnautovic replacement.
Gomez has 12 international caps and two goals to his name, and was in the squad for the entirety of this summer’s Copa America, although he was left on the bench for every match as Uruguay reached the semifinals.
Going in the other direction, Celta Vigo acquires Mina, who left the club four years ago for Valencia as a teenager and saw significant time on the field but never truly established himself as a reliable goalscorer. In 117 top-flight appearances for Valencia, Mina scored 29 goals and assisted 11 more. He now returns to his boyhood club and will make the move alongside 22-year-old defender Saenz who has yet to make his La Liga debut.