West Ham United are interested in a deal to bring Duje Caleta-Car to the London Stadium in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by The Telegraph, who claim that, with Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma being ruled out of action for a considerable portion of the remainder of the campaign due to injury, David Moyes is looking to bring in a number of defensive reinforcements into his side during the upcoming winter window.
The report goes on to state that Olympique de Marseille centre-back Caleta-Car is one of the 58-year-old manager’s targets, although, it is also claimed that newly-rich Newcastle United are also interested in a move for the 25-year-old, who was reportedly available for just €15m (£12.6m) last summer.
While it is true that West Ham have badly missed Ogbonna ever since the centre-back injured his anterior cruciate ligament in the Hammers’ 3-2 victory over Liverpool towards the start of November, should the club’s board be able to get a deal over the line for Caleta-Car this January, it would certainly help ease the loss of the 33-year-old defender.
Indeed, over his eight Ligue 1 appearances so far this season, the £14.4m-rated man has been in imperious form, helping his side keep three clean sheets, scoring one goal, as well as making an average of 0.8 interceptions, 1.1 tackles, 1.9 clearances and winning 72% of his duels per game.
These returns have seen the £47k-per-week centre-back average a highly impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.17, ranking him as Jorge Sampaoli’s second-best performer in the top flight of French football – behind only a player West Ham fans will be very familiar with, in the shape of Dimitri Payet.
Furthermore, former Liverpool defender and Caleta-Car’s Croatia teammate Dejan Lovren clearly believes the 25-year-old has what it takes to make it in the Premier League, stating of the defender last year: “He is physically very strong, stronger than other players. He will explode in a few years and become even stronger.”
As such, while the loss of Ogbonna for what could be the rest of the current campaign is undoubtedly a nightmare for David Moyes, should GSB manage to seal a deal for Caleta-Car as the Italian’s replacement this January, the manager’s current nightmare in the heart of his defence would certainly turn into something of a dream for the Scot.