West Ham join Leeds in four-way Prem battle for £20m defender

Date published: Saturday 29th August 2020 12:08

West Ham have joined Leeds in the race for Shakhtar Donetsk defender Mykola Matviyenko, according to reports.

Matviyenko has emerged as a target for a number of Premier League clubs recently. The 24-year-old has impressed over the past couple of seasons with Shakhtar, who reached the Europa League semi-finals in 2019-20.

Ahead of their return to the top flight, Leeds are looking for reinforcements. They have already been busy, with the addition of Rodrigo Moreno soon to be followed by that of Robin Koch.

Koch may not be the only defender Leeds sign this summer, though. The Whites also have an interest in Matviyenko, who can play as a central defender or left-back.

According to the Express, though, Leeds face competition for the Ukraine international. The paper claims West Ham have also outlined Matviyenko as a target.

Mykola Matviyenko

West Ham narrowly avoided relegation last season, with defence one of their key issues. David Moyes wants them to sign another centre-back, and while they had been considering Brighton’s Shane Duffy, they prefer Matviyenko because he is younger.

The Hammers will have to wait if they want to rival Leeds for Matviyenko, though. They cannot afford to buy before offloading some of their players – with the Express adding that Jack Wilshere, Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Arthur Masuaku are all considered expendable.

In addition to Leeds and West Ham, the report adds that Wolves and Everton also have Matviyenko on their radar. Shakhtar value him at around £20m.

Matviyenko was a target for Arsenal back in January, but it appears they have turned their attention elsewhere. Gabriel Magalhaes remains the most likely defensive addition at the Emirates Stadium.

Rodrigo explains Leeds switch

Rodrigo Moreno

Leeds have already broken their transfer record to sign Rodrigo from Valencia this week. Upon completing his move, the Spaniard explained what drew him to Elland Road.

“Leeds have been working for almost two weeks on this deal with Valencia,” he revealed. “From the first time Victor [Orta] talked to me, I knew I wanted this new challenge with Leeds, a historic club.

“Of course Marcelo Bielsa is one of the best coaches in football at this moment. He has done important things at different clubs and I’m excited to learn from him.

“I want to improve my football with hard work and teamwork. I hope we can do important things this season.”

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