Exclusive – West Ham are continuing to negotiate personal terms with the representatives of Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic – but are struggling to meet their demands.
The 23-year-old has a year left on his Fiorentina contract and is one of a number of central defenders the Hammers are looking at as they look to bolster their squad.
Milenkovic is valued at around £14m – a price that reflects the short amount of time left on his deal – and that’s a figure that West Ham are prepared to pay. However, 90min understands that a transfer is not close to being completed as the club are still trying to agree personal terms – which is proving problematic because of sizeable wage demands and third party fees.
West Ham remain confident an agreement can be reached, but do have other options should they decide a move is not financially viable.
Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby is on the club’s shortlist, while 90min can confirm that West Ham are following up their long-standing interest in Marseille’s Duje Ćaleta-Car. The 24-year-old has previously turned down a move to the London Stadium but a transfer could yet materialise, given the Hammers’ involvement in the group stages of the Europa League.
Burnley’s James Tarkowski is another option for David Moyes, although it’s unlikely the Clarets would want to sanction a transfer so close to the start of the season, and a move for Manchester United’s Phil Jones cannot be ruled out completely.
One player who won’t be moving to West Ham is Kurt Zouma.
He emerged as a surprise target after initially being tipped to join Sevilla as part of Chelsea’s attempts to lure Jules Kounde to Stamford Bridge. But after turning down a move to Spain he was unable to agree personal terms with the Hammers, leaving the club to pursue other targets.
The collapse of Zouma’s proposed move was the latest setback in what’s been a frustrating transfer window for West Ham. The club have been unable to lure Jesse Lingard back after a successful loan spell last season and other targets have opted to move elsewhere – including Matheus Pereira, who plumped for the riches of Al Hilal instead of a move to East London.