West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

West Ham gunning for £40m Prem defender to replace Nayef Aguerd after sale signed off

Wolves centre-back Max Kilman, West Ham centre-back Nayef Aguerd

West Ham have greenlit the sale of Nayef Aguerd and where he’s likeliest to go this month has been revealed, while a report claims David Moyes wants a £40m-rated Wolves centre-back signed as the replacement.

Aguerd, 27, cost the Hammers roughly £28m when signed from French club Rennes in 2022. The centre-back enjoyed a fruitful first season in England that culminated in West Ham winning the Europa Conference League.

However, the Morocco international – who is now on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations – has not kicked on this season.

A series of error-strewn displays have caused concern at West Ham and both the Evening Standard and Guardian claim sizeable bids for Aguerd will be accepted.

Italian giant AC Milan have shown interest, though they  may only be able to muster a loan approach containing an option to buy.

That would do little to benefit West Ham in the here and now who will insist on a permanent sale if Aguerd does take flight. That type of move would then allow manager David Moyes to sign a direct replacement.

On that front, the reports both concur a move to the cash-rich Saudi Pro League is entirely possible. Interest in Aguerd from as yet unnamed Saudi sides is believed to be strong.

The Guardian stated on Sunday that West Ham were already in the market for a centre-back even before determining Aguerd can leave.

Kurt Zouma has struggled to stay fit this term, while Angelo Ogbonna cannot be overused at age 35. Konstantinos Mavropanos, meanwhile, is still adjusting to life back in the Premier League following his summer arrival from Stuttgart.

The Guardian and Standard both confirmed Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah is a dream target for the Hammers.

However, the chances of Leverkusen sanctioning a mid-season sale are nil. Indeed, Leverkusen are unbeaten in all competitions this season and Xabi Alonso has his side threatening to unseat Bayern Munich as kings of the Bundesliga.

Max Kilman to replace Nayef Aguerd?

Instead, the Guardian claim Moyes will look to Molineux and pursue a move for Max Kilman if Aguerd is sold.

The commanding Wolves captain will not be easy to prise away from manager Gary O’Neil. Nonetheless, the report states meeting the club’s roughly £40m valuation could prove too difficult to turn down for Wolves.

Wolves are also under no pressure to sell from a contractual standpoint given Kilman signed a new deal running until 2028 last August.

Signing Kilman would mesh with Moyes’ propensity for signing proven British stars. It’d also add a player to West Ham’s ‘dwindling number of homegrown players’ for quota purposes.

More achievable targets if Kilman proved untouchable include Nottingham Forest’s Joe Worrall and Peterborough’s Ronnie Edwards.

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