Ao Tanaka misses Fortuna Dusseldorf training amid West Ham United transfer speculation
Fortuna Dusseldorf midfielder Ao Tanaka has been absent from training on Thursday amid speculation of a £2.5million transfer to West Ham, according to German newspaper Rheinische Post.
The report went on to share that the Japanese midfielder missing training was nothing to do with any possible transfer move, as he is still in rehab from a ligament injury he sustained towards the end of last season, and is working individually with club physios.
Links to West Ham have emerged in recent days following Declan Rice’s move to Arsenal which is set to be complete in the coming days after a deal was agreed between the two clubs [David Ornstein, 28 June].
Tanaka made 22 appearances for the Bundesliga 2 club last season, scoring one goal and getting an assist in the league, while he managed two assists in three games in the DFB Pokal.
West Ham’s constant links to midfielders are obvious but welcome
Following Rice’s seemingly inevitable transfer to Arsenal this summer, West Ham were always set to be linked to plenty of midfield options as replacements for their star man. The constant rumours come as no surprise but will be welcomed by fans as the club look to do their business early on.
Tanaka would be a cheap option for the Hammers, especially compared to their more ambitious options, with the report from Germany suggesting any deal would be priced at around £2.5million.
West Ham have been linked to Ajax’s Edson Alvarez, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, and Leeds’ Tyler Adams among in recent days, with all three more exciting names than Tanaka.
Edson Alvarez looks best suited to fill the void left by Rice, but with the higher price tag comes heavier scrutiny surrounding his game, where Dusseldorf’s Japanese midfielder would arrive with low expectations and room to impress the West Ham fans in East London.