West Ham Make £20m Offer for Fiorentina Defender Nikola Milenkovic

Nikola Milenkovic
West Ham have turned their attention to Milenkovic | Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

West Ham have made a £20m bid for Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, as the club continue to trawl across Europe in search of reinforcements.

The Hammers have seen bids for Burnley's James Tarkowski and Saint-Étienne's Wesley Fofana fall by the wayside this summer, as the club are simply not prepared to stump up the huge asking prices of both clubs.

Andrea Belotti, Nikola Milenkovic
Milenkovic is physically imposing in the air, standing 6'5" tall | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Highly-rated Fofana is now on his way to Leicester instead, but West Ham have already turned their attentions elsewhere it seems. MailOnline Sport, and various other sources, note that Fiorentina centre-back Milenkovic is now on the club's radar, and a £20m bid has been lodged.

He's previously been linked with a move to Manchester United - then again, who hasn't - and would offer versatility to the Hammers as he's capable of playing at right back, as well as in the heart of defence.

If West Ham have indeed made an offer, it's another indication of the club's struggles to conclude transfer business this summer. Milenkovic has not previously been mooted as a target, and a deal - like the bids for Tarkowski and Fofana - would go against the grain of a pledge made by manager David Moyes a few months ago, where he suggested the club would veer away from big money transfers, instead pursing young, hungry domestic talent.

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Needs must, however, and there's no denying that West Ham are short of quality options at the back. Currently, only Fabian Balbuena, Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna are recognised central defenders, which is somewhat of a problem given the club have now switched to a system that requires all three to play.

Aaron Cresswell has filled in over the past couple of weeks, but is far more suited to playing in his natural left sided position. On the right-hand side, Ryan Fredericks and Ben Johnson are the only two options at right back - and the latter is entering his first full season at the highest level.

90min understands that West Ham have already seen a loan bid for Slavia Prague right-back Vladimír Coufal rejected, with a hamstring injury sustained by Fredericks causing additional concern. Rangers star James Tavernier is another player being eyed up, while moves for Swansea City's Joe Rodon,Arsenal's Calum Chambers and Juventus' Daniele Rugani have also been touted.