West Ham step up Milenkovic pursuit after Zouma deal collapses


est Ham will push ahead in their bid to land Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic after a move for Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma fell through.

The Hammers have been frustrated in their attempts to land a centre-back so far this summer despite having offers in for a number of players.

Zouma’s potential move across London collapsed over personal terms, moving the focus back onto Milenkovic, who is valued at around £14million by Fiorentina with the Hammers ready to try again. The 23-year-old has one year left on his deal in Italy.

Manager David Moyes is keen to bolster his back line ahead of a season, which will see them compete in the Europa League group stage for the first time, but is keen not to overspend. Central defence is the Scot’s current priority.

The east Londoners also want to add a striker to offer support and competition for injury-prone Michail Antonio. There is interest in Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham though, like Zouma, wages could prove a problem.

There was interest in West Brom attacking midfielder Matheus Pereira as an alternative to Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, though the 25-year-old looks set to join Saudi side Al Hilal, with West Ham unable to match the wages on offer.

West Ham have added French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola so far this summer and the current No1 at the London Stadium, Lukasz Fabianski, has welcomed the competition.

“With new players coming in, it doesn’t matter their position,” Fabianski told the club website.

“It always helps this feeling that you have to push yourself even more, you have to have this self-drive that will help you to keep delivering your performances at a good level, so I think that is what we always need as professionals, as goalkeepers.

“It doesn’t matter the position, I think that’s what always happens when there’s a new player.”

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