West Ham United have seemingly turned their attentions elsewhere after a move for Kurt Zouma collapsed this week…
What’s the word?
According to the Evening Standard’s Jack Rosser, the Irons will push ahead with plans to sign Fiorentina colossus Nikola Milenkovic, who has been linked with a move to the London Stadium regularly throughout the summer.
Moyes and co have been left frustrated as Zouma’s switch to the London Stadium fell through over personal terms, which has now moved the focus back onto the Serbia international.
The 23-year-old has just one year to run on his current contract in Florence and is thought to be valued at around £14m. Central defence is currently the Scot’s top priority.
Should WHU pay £14m for Milenkovic?
In Milenkovic, the Hammers could discover their next Rio Ferdinand – a towering and commanding presence in the heart of defence, and one with bags of potential.
At 6 foot 5, the 23-year-old would become one of the tallest centre-backs in the Premier League, which would leave Moyes with a physical specimen capable of impacting the game at either end of the pitch.
Indeed, across the course of his short career to date, Milenkovic has scored 16 goals for club and country, whilst last season, he averaged three aerial duels won, 1.4 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per league outing.
The £22.5m-rated defender has drawn comparisons with one of Ferdinand’s former teammates, Nemanja Vidic, with whom he formed a formidable partnership to clinch five league titles, three league cups and a Champions League.
Speaking to ESPN FC, Mozzart reporter Dejan Stankovic claimed: “Milenkovic is better than Vidic with the ball at his feet, and he is much calmer on the field. He is the most talented centre-back Serbia have had since Vidic, and they definitely have one thing in common – both are fearless.”
This would suggest that the Fiorentina ace is more of a ball-playing animal, like Ferdinand, but also has the scary aerial ability of Vidic. A very intriguing and exciting option to have at Moyes’ disposal.
According to his former Partizan coach Ivan Tomic, “Milenkovic has [the] physical characteristics of a beast,” which only reinforces the point above. “He reads the game well, plays the ball, and should have a great career ahead of him, he said via Mozzart.
For just £14m, this would be an absolute steal.
AND in other news, ExWHUemployee reveals “frustrating” West Ham transfer update…