West Ham United have identified former Everton midfielder Nikola Vlasic as a potential alternative for top target Jesse Lingard.

According to The Telegraph, West Ham have identified Nikola Vlasic as a fallback option should they fail in their pursuit of Jesse Lingard. The Manchester United midfielder is valued at around £25 million, but the club has found it difficult to strike a deal. As a result, they are eyeing up a potential loan move for Vlasic.

The attacking midfielder has turned many heads with his performances for CSKA Moscow, since joining the club in 2018. He does have Premier League experience, though, having enjoyed a brief spell at Everton, who had brought him in during the summer of 2017, for a fee of around €10 million.

Unfortunately, Vlasic did not make a noticeable impact, mustering only 12 appearances during the 2017/18 campaign. It prompted the Toffees to send him out to CSKA Moscow on loan in 2018, a move that has proved to be highly beneficial for both player and club, leading to CSKA signing him permanently in 2019.

In just three years in Moscow, the Croatian international has featured in 107 competitive matches for the club, scoring 33 goals while chipping in with 21 assists. As depicted by his goals tally, the midfielder has significantly improved his productivity in the final third, which has attracted the attention of West Ham.

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The Hammers are currently in the market for a goalscoring playmaker, after the success of Jesse Lingard last season. The Englishman was involved in as many as 14 goals, but the club hasn’t had much luck in bringing him back to London. The player himself appears to favour a stay at Old Trafford despite the stiff competition in the first-team.

West Ham, therefore, are being forced to look at Vlasic. The Croatian may not have the same pedigree in English football as Lingard, but he has certainly improved his game in recent years and at the age of 23, has valuable room to improve – potentially making him an interesting option for David Moyes.

One way or another, the club must move swiftly with just one remaining before the transfer window slams to a shut. They have reportedly made significant strides in the pursuit of Kurt Zouma, who is closing on the switch to West Ham after weeks of speculations.

It could be a major boost for a club that is yet to sign a new player permanently so far this summer. Hence, it will be interesting to see how the Hammers go about their business, as far as their pursuit of Vlasic is concerned, in these remaining days of the transfer window.

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