West Ham United have made a move in their bid to bring Attila Szalai to the London Stadium this summer.
That’s according to Omer Celikbasli, with the SPOR journalist revealing in a recent post on Twitter that Rob Newman has now tabled a €12m (£10m) bid for the Fenerbahce SK centre-back, an offer which the Super Lig side are stalling on before getting back to the Hammers with an answer.
In his post, the Turkish journalist said: “West Ham United made their offer for Attila Szalai and was put on hold.”
With Issa Diop on course to join Fulham in a £15m deal, in addition to the fact that, at present, Nayef Aguerd, Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson are all sidelined due to injury, it is not difficult to see why Moyes appears keen to add a new centre-back to his first team squad prior to September’s transfer deadline.
And, while Szalai may not exactly be a household name in England, the 24-year-old would undoubtedly be an ideal replacement for the outbound Diop ahead of the bulk of West Ham’s 2022/23 campaign.
Indeed, over his 31 Super Lig appearances for Fenerbahce last season, the £10.8m-rated talent demonstrated his solidity at the back, helping his side keep five clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.1 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 2.0 clearances and winning 2.7 duels per game.
For comparison, over Diop’s 13 Premier League fixtures in 2021/22, the £9m-rated Frenchman helped Moyes’ side keep just two clean sheets, as well as making an average of 0.8 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, 3.2 clearances and winning 2.4 duels per game.
The £14k-per-week defender who has been branded the “Hungarian Virgil van Dijk” also impressed going forwards last time out, scoring one goal, registering two assists and creating three big chances for his teammates.
These returns saw the left-footer – who can also operate on the left of a back three and at left-back – average a SofaScore match rating of 6.78, much bettering Diop’s 6.69 average rating for the Hammers last term.
As such, it is clear to see that Szalai would indeed be something of a perfect replacement for Diop in Moyes’ West Ham squad, especially considering the 24-year-old could cost significantly less than the £15m fee the Irons look set to bring in for the 25-year-old former French youth international.