West Ham United have reportedly joined the growing number of clubs eager to sign Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai but face a formidable obstacle for his services.
Szalai, 23, moved to Turkey from Cypriot club Apollon Limassol in the January transfer window. They paid less than £2m for the centre-half and are in line to make a healthy profit if they sell. Capped eight times by Hungary, Szalai is a no-nonsense centre-back with an eye for goal.
He has already bagged three Super Lig goals for the Yellow Canaries from just 16 appearances. His displays in the Fener rearguard have caught the eye of some of Europe’s top clubs.
Aston Villa and Newcastle United have been linked while Leicester City’s name has been mentioned in connection with the player. Add to that Italian duo Napoli and Lazio and it seems obvious he will be on his way this summer.
It was stated last week that Fenerbahce want £23m for the rangy stopper. And now the Hammers can be added to his list of suitors.
David Moyes is keen to shore up his defence this summer. After being one of the most reliable backlines around, the East End outfit have begun to show signs of frailty.
They have conceded 11 goals in their past five league games, and their top-four push is faltering. Just when they needed to be solid, the Scot’s charges have lost back-to-back top-flight games.
Champions League qualification is now out of their hands and they must rely on Chelsea slipping up. Whatever happens, it has been a solid campaign and things are looking on the up.
April 26 Transfer Chatter: Willock, Belotti, Sule, Azpilicueta news
Arsenal will demand £25m from Newcastle for Joe Willock, Liverpool are considering a cut-price move for Torino striker Andrea Belotti and Atletico Madrid are ready to take advantage of Chelsea’s interest in Niklas Sule by moving for Cesar Azpilicueta.
Spaniards zero in on Szalai
Szalai would be an excellent addition for the Hammers who may well be playing some brand of European football next term. But, in addition to the clubs mentioned, Sevilla are said to have registered an interest, according to A Spor.
That means director of football Monchi is involved and he has a knack of getting the players he wants. The 52-year-old is a specialist in signing relatively cheap players and then selling them on for a profit.
If they can get their latest target for around £23m then he is in line to complete another sound piece of business. West Ham will hope the lure of playing in the Premier League can sway the Budapest-born starlet.
He is under contract until the summer of 2025, meaning his current club hold all the aces.