In their Friday edition, Portuguese newspaper A Bola reported West Ham’s only official offer for William Carvalho stood at €25m.

A Bola stated West Ham were ready to go to €35m, but hadn’t actually done that. Sport Witness pointed out that over the past week or so the reporting in Portugal had been much quieter than previously, like nothing was actually happening.

The Portuguese press started the story, but for past ten days it’s been pushed much more in England and repeatedly presented as an imminent deal.

It seems the Portuguese were right, and ‘leaks’ from West Ham on Friday show just how deadlocked the situation is.

Sky Sports reported: ‘West Ham have pulled out of a deal to sign William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon, according to Sky sources.

The Hammers decided to walk away after Sporting refused to lower their £40m valuation for the Portugal midfielder, and the London club also have concerns about Carvalho’s fitness.

A senior source at the club said: “He just got too expensive and you have to say no sometimes.

“Also, he’s not trained for three weeks. He has done no pre-season training – so he might have needed four-six weeks to be ready to play for us.”‘

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It’s completely incorrect to say Carvalho hasn’t gone through preseason. He started his return much later than many, due to playing for Portugal in the Confederations Cup, his last match in that competition coming on July 2nd.

He then played again, in an official Portuguese league match, not a friendly, on August 6th, 19 days before the West Ham comments about him not training for three weeks, after a period of training. He’s pictured above during the game, wearing the captain’s armband.

The following two matches saw Carvalho sidelined, with reports in Portugal that’s because of the potential West Ham move, with the player himself pushing for it.

For the midfielder’s general fitness to be questioned is a little low, especially when things are twisted to insinuate there’s a bigger issue.

On Saturday, A Bola forget the niceties and straight out say West Ham are playing a game. The Portuguese newspaper claim, according to their own information, that it’s part of a strategy from West Ham to sign the player.

West Ham speaking to Sky and others is ‘nothing more than a message to Portugal’, believe A Bola, which is clearly more transparent than the Hammers wanted it to be.

A deal could still be done at around €30m plus €5m in bonuses, which is what Sporting wanted at the start, before the games between the two clubs started.

Sporting are unlikely to be blameless in this, they use every trick in the book on transfers, but given what West Ham have insinuated about Carvalho’s fitness, it’s the Hammers who look to be twisting things most.