West Ham complete £30m signing of Moroccan defender Nayef Aguerd

West Ham complete £30m signing of Moroccan defender Nayef Aguerd from Rennes after holding off interest from Newcastle as David Moyes bolsters his back line with first buy of the summer

  • West Ham have confirmed the signing of defender Nayef Aguerd from Rennes
  • Moroccan centre-back strengthens options for David Moyes ahead of season
  • Hammers could pay £30m for Aguerd once add-ons are included
  • 26-year-old established himself as one of the most reliable defenders in Ligue 1 

West Ham have confirmed the signing of Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd in a deal worth £30million.

The Hammers beat Newcastle United to the 26-year-old Morocco international centre-back, a long-term target of their manager David Moyes.

Aguerd was wanted by West Ham last summer but opted to continue in Brittany where he enjoyed another excellent campaign in 2021-22, making 40 appearances across all competitions.

West Ham have completed the £30m signing of Moroccan defender Aguerd from Rennes

Aguerd familiarises himself with West Ham’s training ground after completing his move

Aguerd becomes the first signing for West Ham this summer after they beat Newcastle to him

He also played every minute of Morocco’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign earlier this year, before falling to Egypt in the quarter-finals.

Moyes will hope Aguerd’s arrival will bolster his defensive ranks as they face another gruelling campaign next term following their qualification for the Europa Conference League.

The club were fearful that Newcastle would make a last-ditch swoop to sign Aguerd but the deal has now been concluded after he completed a medical. 

Aguerd said: ‘I was really excited when I heard about West Ham United’s interest.

‘When I heard about it, I knew I needed to go to the Premier League, because it’s a dream for every player.

Hammers manager David Moyes will be delighted to strengthen his defensive options

‘West Ham is a historic Club. I saw a few of their games this year, and I saw the fans and the atmosphere were fantastic, with the bubbles!

‘I talked with the manager and he showed me that he was very interested, so it was easy to choose to come to West Ham.’

Moyes added: ‘I am delighted to welcome Nayef to West Ham United. We have tracked his progress for some time and I’m very pleased that we have been able to complete the signing. He’s a great addition that will add to our defensive options.

‘I have been really impressed with Nayef’s character and attitude during our discussions. He has a great desire to improve and be successful, and I am sure he will fit in very well to the environment we have at Rush Green.’ 

Aguerd is the Hammers’ first signing of the summer and they remain keen on Southampton and England midfielder James Ward-Prowse. 

Aguerd (left) established himself as one of the most reliable defenders in France last season

Aguerd’s arrival could signal the departure of Issa Diop who has a year left on contract and struggled for form at times last season.

Kurt Zouma also had a couple of spells on the sidelines last season while Craig Dawson struggled with fitness.

Aguerd previously played for FUS Rabat in his homeland and then Dijon before signing for Rennes in August 2020.

He helped them finish sixth in the Ligue 1 table in his first season, earning qualification to the new Europa Conference League.

And they performed even more impressively last season, finishing sixth to make the Europa League. They were only three points off third-placed Monaco and Champions League football.

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