Fabian Balbuena has been a key member of the West Ham squad since his signing in 2018.
The Paraguay international has made a total of 54 appearances for the club, even scoring three goals, including one against Tottenham Hotspur in the remarkable 3-3 draw earlier this season.
Balbuena has made eight appearances in the Premier League this season, too, playing in all of the club’s last eight games. In those, the Hammers have lost just once, to Liverpool.
He has even captained the team in the EFL Cup, against both Charlton Athletic and Hull City.
However, he has a contract that expires at the end of the season, leading to some suggestion that he could leave in the summer.
Reports stated that Flamengo, a Brazilian club, were interested in snapping up the 29-year-old, but would only make a move if he did not agree an extension with the London Stadium club.
However, it now appears that he will not be moving to South America.
Sport Witness carries quotes from Balbuena’s agent, who was speaking to ESPN Brasil, and he insists that he will not be leaving the Irons.
Augusto Paraja said: “He is one of the captains of the team, he’s starting and wants to continue. I received many calls from journalists asking about Flamengo, but there’s no possibility of him returning to South America.
“He wants to continue in England, there’s no concern because of that.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
This will be a huge relief for the Hammers.
Balbuena, who is valued at £7.2m by Transfermarkt, is a key player, as the agent says, and the fact that he has been given the captain’s armband speaks volumes to his importance.
It appears that he is more than ready to commit his future to the club and one has to think that he will sign on the dotted line soon enough.
That will be a major boost for both David Moyes and the Hammers at large.
Balbuena has been perhaps the best defender at the club thus far this season; they could ill-afford to have lost him for nothing.News Now - Sport News