Gloucestershire Live understands that Premier League side West Ham United are closing in on the signing of Derby County youngster Luke Thomas. His former club, Cheltenham Town, will receive 15% of any transfer fee the Rams receive.
Reports indicate that the Hammers, now managed by former Manchester City title winner Manuel Pellegrini, are primed to pay a £1.2million fee for the highly-rated winger. Therefore, the Sky Bet League Two Robins would earn just under £200,000 if that was the case. This would certainly please manager Gary Johnson!
Whilst the 19-year-old has only made a solitary two substitute appearances in the first-team at Pride Park, he is still deemed to be a player quite great potential. With Derby challenging for the play-offs all season, they decided against throwing him into such a pressured situation, too often. Derby are of course without a manager, and West Ham may look to use that to their advantage when striking a deal.
Thomas won the Young Player of the Year Award with the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-finalists, so is clearly highly-regarded within their Academy structure, which is headlined by Darren Wassall. He made the move to Derbyshire in January 2016, having shone in the ranks at Cheltenham too. There hasn’t been much that supporters will have seen to be either excited or too disappointed about this deal. Nevertheless, it is always promising to see a young talent in the EFL handed a chance in the top flight. Cheltenham shall look to use money from this potential deal to boost their own squad ahead of next season.