West Ham United have made a £14 million approach to secure the services of Fiorentina’s defensive stalwart Nikola Milenkovic.
According to journalist Ekrem Konur, West Ham United have stepped up their pursuit of signing a new defender with David Moyes desperate to bolster his ranks at the back. Two of their primary targets are Kurt Zouma and Nikola Milenkovic, who is now being considered as a serious option amid guarantees over his desire to leave his current club Fiorentina.
As such, the Hammers have tabled an offer of around £14 million for the services of Milenkovic. It is believed to be a fairly reasonable offer for the defender as his contract in Florence expires at the end of the coming season. It means Fiorentina will be forced to offload him for free in 2022, thus forcing them to potentially cash in on a cut-price this summer.
A product of the Partizan Belgrade youth academy, Milenkovic is no stranger to Premier League interest either. The Serbian has been linked with a move to England throughout the year, with Tottenham Hotspur, for one, reportedly considering him as a potential alternative for their top target for Cristian Romero earlier this year.
The Lilywhites may not have to worry about it anymore as Atalanta have now accepted their £43 million bid for Romero. It might be welcome news for West Ham as well, with the club intent on adding some much-needed competition for the ageing defensive trifecta consisting of Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid.
Milenkovic fits the bill perfectly due to his experience and imposing physical assets. Since joining Fiorentina in 2017, the defender has indeed gained a lot of experience at the highest level of football, making a total of 133 competitive appearances. His towering 1.95m figure also made him one of the most imposing centre-backs in Serie A.
Such quality may serve him well in the physically astute nature of the Premier League as well. But it will be interesting to see whether the Serbian’s potential arrival hinders West Ham’s pursuit of Kurt Zouma.
Recent reports did suggest that the Chelsea centre-back was closing in on the move to London Stadium. However, he is likely to cost significantly more for Moyes’ men, who are already trying to operate on a low budget this summer, knowing they are unlikely to offload any of their star players.