West Ham United are reportedly hard at work to try and secure the signing of Fiorentina star Nikola Milenkovic, although Juventus could pose an obstacle.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, West Ham United are locked in negotiations with Fiorentina as they look to try and sign Serbian international defender Nikola Milenkovic in the ongoing transfer window.
It is no secret at this point in time that West Ham are eagerly looking for defensive reinforcements in the market, which makes total sense considering that David Moyes & co. have lost Fabian Balbuena this summer, leaving them with just Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna, Craig Dawson and Winston Reid as options.
Of the quartet, Reid has been out of favour for a while and has been out on loan for the past season and a half. Throw in Ogbonna’s injury in pre-season, and the situation seems quite dire for the Hammers with regard to their defensive options, making the signing of a new centre-back a priority.
To that end, West Ham have been linked with a host of options ranging from Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma to Olympique Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car. However, it is Milenkovic that has emerged as the top priority for the east London giants, as per the report.
The 23-year-old Serbian has been with Fiorentina since 2017 and has gained a lot of experience at the highest level while also cementing himself as one of the most reliable defenders in Serie A. While the Viola may have struggled in recent seasons, Milenkovic has continued to grow in stature, leading to interest from several clubs, including West Ham United.
What makes Milenkovic an even more enticing prospect for the Hammers is that the defender has entered the final year of his contract and could be available for a bargain price, with the report claiming that he is rated at £14 million. So, it should not come as a surprise that Moyes & co. are going hard in pursuit of the Serbian international, with talks going on with Fiorentina.
However, despite their efforts, there could be a potential twist in the tale, as Juventus have also emerged as a suitor for the 23-year-old. The Bianconeri are looking to replenish their backline after selling Merih Demiral to Atalanta and see Milenkovic as an option. The Fiorentina star is said to be mulling over West Ham’s interest while waiting to see if Juve make a move.
It now remains to be seen if the Hammers’ continued talks with Fiorentina yield the desired result or if they have to look at options beyond Milenkovic with Nayef Aguerd of Rennes also emerging as a transfer target.