West Ham United defender Fabian Balbuena had options to leave the club last month but turned down a lucrative offer from an unnamed Arabian club.

That’s according to his agent, Renato Bittar, who says the player has made it clear he wants to stay in Europe if he is to leave the Hammers.

Balbuena has been at West Ham since 2018 when he arrived in a £3.6m move from Brazilian side Corinthians under former manager Manuel Pellegrini.

He’s made 58 appearances for the club since but has found himself in and out of the side under David Moyes this season.

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After starting the first two league games on the bench, he played 90 minutes in 11 of the next 13 league games, as well as all three of West Ham’s games in the EFL Cup.

However, he has been out of the side since a 0-0 draw with Southampton at the end of December, sitting on the bench for four of the Hammers last five league games and only featuring in their win over Doncaster in the FA Cup across January.

With his contract expiring in the summer and no new deal as yet, he was subsequently linked with a move away from the club in the January transfer window.

That never happened, and his agent has now revealed why, while also dismissing talk of a move to Lazio.

“Fabian (Balbuena) had isolated himself due to contact with a Covid-19 case, and is returning to the team,” he told Futgol970y.

“We are seeing some things for him, nothing from Lazio.

“We had a very juicy proposal from the Arab League, and Fabian told me; let’s wait, let’s stay in Europe.”