West Ham are reported to be prioritising a swoop to sign Nikola Milenkovic amid claims Fiorentina have set them a tempting asking price for the defender.
The towering Serbian defender has established himself as one of the best centre-halves in Serie A. But with just a year left on contract, La Viola face a losing battle in trying to retain his services. As such, they have placed a €25m asking price on his head.
That has, understandably, led to plenty of interest in services with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer among his suitors.
Indeed, Manchester United have been tracking Milenkovic for some time as they seek a partner for Harry Maguire. Eric Bailly has signed a new contract but doubts remain about whether he and Victor Lindelof can be starters. Instead, they’re looking at several options to come in.
However, despite learning of Milenkovic’s new lower price, United are unlikely to follow up on their initial interest. That’s because the club are instead actively pursuing deals for both Pau Torres and Raphael Varane.
Juventus are also eyeing a move for Milekonvic this summer. But with funds short in Turin, they are looking into a possible swap deal with Fiorentina.
However, Fiorentina reportedly prefer a cash sale only – which seemingly leaves West Ham as the player’s sole suitors.
That’s a view backed up by Calciomercato, who claims the Hammers are pushing hard to sign the 23-year-old.
They claim, with the offer of European football, West Ham can persuade the Serb to move to London.
Furthermore, Sky Italia believes West Ham will have no trouble matching Fiorentina’s asking price. As such, David Moyes looks well placed to bring in Milenkovic as the club’s first summer signing.
West Ham prefer Milenkovic to Tarkowski
The Hammers’ interest in Milenkovic means they are unlikely to follow up on their long-standing interest in James Tarkowski.
Tarkowski has been a reliable servant for Burnley ever since joining them from Brentford in 2016. Two years later, he became a full England international. Although he remains stuck on two caps for his country, he has continued to be a cornerstone of Sean Dyche’s side at club level.
Last season, Tarkowski played in 36 Premier League matches, after featuring in all 38 the previous year. His partnership with Ben Mee at the back is one of the most reliable in the division, despite Burnley being a bottom-half club.
But that partnership could soon break up. Tarkowski is entering the final year of his contract and is keen to test himself at a more ambitious level.
However, West Ham’s interest in Milenkovic means they’re unlikely to sign him – with a new Premier League suitor leading the chase instead.