West Ham come up short in first bid for familiar centre-back

Date published: Saturday 7th August 2021 9:55 - Matthew Briggs

Duje Caleta Car of Croatia

West Ham have come up short with their first offer for Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car, according to a report.

Hammers boss David Moyes is known to be in the market for at least one new central defender.

The Scot is light in that area at present and is keen to address the issue. He has only Craig Dawson, Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna in the ranks, with the latter sidelined through injury.

Just minutes into the pre-season game against Celtic, Ogbonna injured his hamstring. Although Mark Noble calmed fears the defender would be missing for a lengthy spell.

“Angelo has got a slight problem, but he’s going to be fine,” Noble told the club website. “Apart from that, everyone got through the game so we rest up, recover and go again.”

Chelsea defender Zurt Zouma was believed to be high up Moyes’ list of targets. Chelsea seemed open to allowing Zouma to leave and the Hammers had ‘opened talks’ over a move.

However, respected West Ham website Claret and Hugh suggested the former Saint-Etienne ace is set to pen a new deal at Chelsea. He will extend his deal by two to three years with the west London outfit.

That has led Moyes to Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car, according to L’Equipe.

The Premier League side know all about Caleta-Car; they tried to sign the player last summer, but the 24-year-old Croatia defender decided to stay.


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Milenkovic option

Now the Hammers have made their move with a €14m bid, with €3m in bonuses available.

Marseille though want at least €20m. But the report claims “negotiations are continuing”.

Moyes is understood to have other irons in the fire and Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic is one of those.

Milenkovic’s contract is due to expire in 2022 and there is apparently no prospect of a renewal.

Inter Milan, Manchester United, Sevilla and Juventus have all been mentioned as suitors, as well as West Ham.

Now Calciomercato are ready to invest over €15m in the 23-year-old.

READ MORE: Chelsea or Man City? West Brom? Ipswich? Newport? Wrexham? – picking your 2021/22 title winners acca

 

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