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Moyes: We nearly signed Diaz before Liverpool move

West Ham were “quite far down the line” towards signing Luis Diaz from Porto in January before he joined Liverpool, David Moyes has revealed.

The Hammers have been searching for a new forward for some time, and have operated with only Michail Antonio as an out-and-out striker since selling Sebastian Haller to Ajax in January 2021.

They were unable to add Jesse Lingard to their ranks after his successful loan spell last season and the one attacking signing they did complete, Nikola Vlasic, has started only four Premier League games.

Sky Sports News reported West Ham were keen to sign Flamengo forward Gabriel Barbosa towards the end of the January window, without success, and Moyes himself has now confirmed he held talks with Diaz during the January transfer window, before Liverpool stole in to bring him to Anfield on Deadline Day.

“I spoke to Luis Diaz on the phone, we were quite far down the line to sign him from Porto,” Moyes said. “My understanding was that Liverpool planned to come in in the summer, so we thought we’d try and get him in January. I don’t know if that affected Liverpool’s decision, but he’s a really good player and we didn’t get him.

“Our ambitions are to sign the best players we can to try to improve West Ham. I want to make us better, I don’t want it to be mediocre if I can help it. Sometimes, you just need to be patient, hope we get the right things at the right time, and that’s the way I’ve chosen to make my decisions here rather than bring in people who maybe don’t right fit the bill.”

Without any January additions, West Ham have won only one of their last five Premier League games, and sit four points adrift of Manchester United, who now occupy the fourth spot the Hammers have craved to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history.

That has not deterred the faith of Moyes, who believes after two spells inside the top four already this season, it could be third time lucky for his side before the end of the campaign.

David Moyes: I want to win, I want to play better | West Ham United

He said” “I’m not giving up on being in and around the top. We’ve been in the top four positions on two periods this season, we’ve dropped out, and our plan is to get back into it a third time and stay there. But we’ve got to find the best squad to get that. We’ve not been on our best form, but we’ve been resilient, dug in, tried to keep going.

“A couple of things haven’t quite gone our way, we’d like to see more goals from Michail Antonio, more goals from Tomas Soucek, it would be important to us, but it’s not our goal scoring issues which have been a problem, it’s been conceding goals. We’ve been without Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma for a long period.

“Trying to get the balance right every game, be ready and be the best we can hasn’t always been easy, but I think resilience, stick at it, don’t give up, keep challenging the top teams, we’ve got big games to come, we’re in two cup competitions – I do think it’s a good time for West Ham.”

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