West Ham United are reportedly in talks to sign 23-year-old Serbian defender Nikola Milenkovic from Serie A outfit Fiorentina this summer.

According to a report by Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth, Nikola Milenkovic is the subject of interest from West Ham United over a move in the summer transfer window. The Hammers are, in fact, already in talks with Serie A club Fiorentina, over a potential move for the 23-year-old Serbian defender, with a move for Kurt Zouma running into troubled waters.

Nikola Milenkovic joined Fiorentina from Partizan Belgrade in the summer of 2017 and has since gone on to establish himself as one of the most improved defenders in Serie A. A mainstay at the back for La Viola, the Serbian international has made 133 appearances for the club, chipping in with 11 goals and an assist along the way.

His progress over the last four years have captured the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe over the years, with the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea being linked with him at some point in recent years. As things stand, though, it looks like West Ham United hold a serious interest in the 23-year-old.

The Hammers are in the market for a centre-back this summer after releasing Fabian Balbuena. In addition, Issa Diop is facing an uncertain future at the London Stadium and could be offloaded by West Ham in the ongoing transfer window. As a result, it is imperative that the East Londoners make a move for at least one central defender.

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To that end, West Ham have been linked with Kurt Zouma quite heavily and there have even been suggestions that the Chelsea defender was closing in on a cross-London switch. However, a move for the French defender has now stalled owing to Chelsea’s asking price as well as the player’s own wage demands.

As a result, West Ham have had to turn their attention elsewhere, with Milenkovic now emerging as a viable target for the Hammers. And the fact that the 23-year-old can play as a centre-back as well as a right-back equally adeptly only makes him a more appealing option for West Ham, who have been eyeing the likes of Djed Spence and Jens Stryger Larsen as potential right-back reinforcements.

The intent being shown by West Ham is clear as day as well, having already opened talks with Serie A outfit Fiorentina for the Serbian international. As for Zouma, it will be interesting to see if West Ham can reach an agreement with Chelsea over an acceptable fee or if they seriously pursue a move for Milenkovic instead.

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