West Ham United are prepared to make Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic their first signing of the summer in their pursuit of a new centre-back, according to reports.
The Hammers were heavily linked with the 23-year-old last summer but were unable to secure his signature after failing to agree a fee with the Italian outfit. With the Serbia international being out of contract next summer, Football Italia report that the club have submitted a €15.5million (£13.3million) bid to lure him to east London.
Following the departure of Fabio Balbuena, David Moyes has made Milenkovic a top transfer target as he looks to expand his options at the back for next season.
Despite this, the club are set to face stiff competition for the defender with Juventus, Napoli and Lazio all rumoured to be interested.
The Scottish manager had initially expressed interest in Burnley’s James Tarkowski, but a move failed to materialise for the Englishman.
Doubts are emerging that Harry Kane will get the transfer of his choice this summer – read the latest here.
Lauded as the ‘new Nemanja Vidic’ (via Hammers News), Milenkovic was crucial for Fiorentina in their most recent campaign, featuring 37 times and scoring three goals with one assist.
In addition, he already has over 28 appearances for Serbia and was included in their squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Having secured qualification for the Europa League, the Hammers will require a host of new recruits to cope with their lengthy fixtures list.
June 24 Transfer Chatter: Chelsea in for Grealish, Arsenal to sell Saliba and Ramos future decided
Chelsea look to be set to rival Man City in the race to sign Jack Grealish, while Arsenal want to sell William Saliba and Sergio Ramos looks set to move to Paris St-Germain.
With just one first team striker in Michail Antonio, a forward is also believed to rank high on Moyes’ priority list.
It’s believed that Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah could be on the move to the London Stadium, with the Gunners being open to offers for the England U21s star.
More transfer moves for Moyes
Milenkovic and Nketiah aren’t the only men we could see in the claret and blue shirt next season.
It comes as no surprise that the club are strongly interested in bringing Jesse Lingard to the club on a permanent basis, after his stellar spell on loan last season.
The Manchester United star was a revelation in East London after joining in January, scoring nine goals and assisting five in 16 Premier League games.
Another player that could be headed for the London Stadium is Aaron Ramsey, who has expressed his desire to leave Juventus this summer.
West Ham are keen on signing the Welsh international but will face a fierce fight from Everton to do so.