West Ham United are reportedly set to make an approach for Atalanta defender Joakim Maehle, according to reports in Italy.
As per Tutto Atalanta, the Hammers are said to ‘want’ to sign the 25-year-old in the current window, with the suggestion that David Moyes and co will make a move for the Denmark international in the ‘next few days’.
The former Genk star – who still has three years left to run on his existing deal – is said to be valued at around €18m (£15.5m), having somewhat fallen out of favour under Gian Piero Gasperini last term, making just 15 Serie A starts.
Previous reports have suggested that the east London side sent scouts to watch the versatile gem in action for his country against Austria in the recent Nations League clash, with Moyes believed to be plotting multiple new additions this summer.
The Irons have recently confirmed the permanent capture of goalkeeper Alphonse Areola following his strong loan spell at the London Stadium, with the Frenchman becoming the club’s second major deal of the summer following the earlier £30m signing of Rennes defender, Nayef Aguerd.
The 26-year-old, Morocco international will add increased quality and depth to the club’s centre-back ranks next term, with resources having been stretched last season following the long-term absence of veteran colossus, Angelo Ogbonna.
The former Dijon man offers both silk and steel with his quality both in and out of possession, notably ranking in the top 10% for attempted passes and the top 16% for pass completion among those in his position across Europe’s big five leagues, while also ranking in the top 18% for aerial duels won.
The 6 foot 2 menace may not be the only defensive recruit to come through the door, however, with a move for Maehle seemingly set to bolster the backline even further.
The £12.6m-rated “machine” – as he has been dubbed by international teammate Kasper Schmeichel – put himself firmly on the map of clubs across the continent following his impressive displays at last summer’s European Championship, netting twice and providing one assist in his side’s surge to the last four.
That assist, in particular, caught the eye of fans, pundits and clubs alike, as he delivered the ball on a plate to Kasper Dolberg with a stunning outside of the boot delivery in the eventual win over the Czech Republic, with the cross subsequently labelled “world-class” by journalist David Munday.
That moment of genius illustrates just what an attacking threat the £22k-per-week gem can pose from either flank – be it at full-back or at wing-back – with his total tally now standing at 14 goal contributions in just 29 games for his country.
At club level, the Danish “monster” – as described by Maikel Bill – has also recorded ten goals and provided 30 assists in 217 career appearances thus far, further illustrating just what a potent attacking force he can be.
With his lethal threat down either flank and with Aguerd remaining solid and composed in the heart of the defence, the Hammers could seemingly have two hugely influential figures on their hands before the start of next season.