West Ham United table an offer for Nikola Milenkovic
According to Italian outlet Calciomercato (h/t The BBC), West Ham United have tabled a bid for Serbian defender, Nikola Milenkovic. The Serbian defender, according to The Express, is on a contract that expires in the summer of 2022 and that is why his current club could part ways with him for around £20million.
But their £17million bid, according to the first report is not congruent with Fiorentina’s valuation of him. However, it does not mention if the bid has been rejected or if there has been an official response to it. In light of this, let us see why the Serbian international is a player that West Ham United should continue fighting for this summer.
West Ham could do with defenders
The Hammers, under David Moyes, lined up with three centre-backs on a number of occasions. Such was the shortage of natural centre-backs at one point that full-back Aaron Creswell was played in that position. In light of that, the Scottish manager would want a defensive roster where he has more options to choose from.
Even his current crop of defenders don’t look like they will last the distance at the club. Angelo Ogbonna, who is already 33 years old, sees his current deal expire next summer. Football.london mentions that Paraguayan international Fabian Balbuena is set to leave the club as his contract expires this month.
21-year-old Frederik Alves played in Premier League 2 for the Hammers this season and was loaned out to Danish side Silkeborg. He is clearly not in a position to be a pinned starter right away. Also, Moyes’ faith in Winston Reid is dwindling considering the 32-year-old was loaned out to Brentford. He only managed 10 Championship appearances during this campaign.
This clearly highlights the problem of centre-backs that the former Everton and Manchester United manager currently has at the London Stadium. A signing or two in that area of the pitch seems necessary. Milenkovic would be a good starting point. He already has a lot of experience in Serie A.
The Fiorentina defender already has 133 appearances for Fiorentina in his four-year stay and can boast of being a regular starter for his national team as well. In Milenkovic, Moyes would not only solve a short-term headache but also potentially acquire a long-term asset. The fact that his deal expires soon also helps the Hammers.
His club would know that they can risk losing him on a free transfer later on if he doesn’t renew his contract- and the Hammers would hope that this situation plays in their favour. West Ham impressed a lot of onlookers this season and were contenders for a top-4 finish, eventually finishing 6th.
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But they would know that strengthening their team is important to make progress. And with the centre-back situation so precarious at the moment, Milenkovic can provide the club with some stability. Hence, Moyes should not wait around.