West Ham United are closing in on their second signing of the summer, according to reports…
Sky Sports News reporter Tom White revealed that the Irons were on the verge of agreeing on a swoop to secure Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic.
“We have actually got some breaking transfer news regarding West Ham,” he said live on air (as relayed by Football Daily).
“We are told, in the last few seconds, that they are edging closer to a deal for Fiorentina centre back Nikola Milenkovic
“The fee is expected to be £14m. Now, a lot of elements of this deal are still to be sorted but West Ham are hopeful they can complete the deal.
“We’ve told you already that West Ham have held talks with Marseille over Duje Caleta-Car and also Chelsea for Kurt Zouma, though the wages there were an issue and also the transfer fee of around £25m, which proved to be a stumbling block as well.
“But with Nikola Milenkovic, West Ham are confident they will get that deal sorted for £14m.”
What a signing this could be, especially at that price.
It’s no secret that the Hammers’ attention quickly turned towards signing a new centre-back in recent weeks, with Angelo Ogbonna a serious doubt for their opening Premier League game of the season against Newcastle United.
It is also believed that manager David Moyes was eager for a new ‘top-level’ defender as a big priority this summer, according to Football Insider back in May, and it appears he has got his marquee addition here.
Milenkovic has never played outside of Italy or his home nation Serbia, but the 6 foot 5 colossus has plenty of qualities that should see him adapt to the Premier League with relative ease, not as least because he’s been compared to a legendary defender.
Mozzart journalist Dejan Stankovic hinted to ESPN FC that the 23-year-old could be the next Nemanja Vidic, he said: “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.”
Indeed, despite being a man-mountain that won an average of three aerial duels per game in Serie A last term, the 28-cap Serbian international also recorded an impressive 86% passing accuracy – better than every single Hammers centre-back – on top of 1.4 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per outing, too.
On that evidence, he certainly fits the profile of the sort of top-quality centre-back that Moyes is longing for, so he will surely be delighted with the news that the club are closing in on his signature.
Furthermore, Milenkovic is currently valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt and the East Londoners are sealing him for a fraction of the price – an absolute steal and bargain.
This development should bring some excitement back to the London Stadium.