West Ham

West Ham holding talks with Rennes for Nayef Aguerd

Aguerd played for Rennes in this season's Europa Conference League
Aguerd played for Rennes in this season's Europa Conference League / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

West Ham are continuing to hold talks with Rennes over a deal for central defender Nayef Aguerd and are close to agreeing a fee, 90min understands.

The Hammers are keen to strengthen their backline after a number of injury problems affected their 2021/22 campaign, and 26-year-old Aguerd, who is a left-sided centre-back, has been identified as a primary target.

David Moyes already has Kurt Zouma, Craig Dawson, Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna on the books at London Stadium, but the latter was ruled out in November after suffering a serious knee injury against Liverpool and failed to play any further part in West Ham's season.

Zouma and Diop also had spells on the treatment table, leaving Dawson at one point as the club's only available centre-back.

To accommodate the potential arrival of Aguerd, it's likely that at least one centre-back will be moved on by West Ham. There's also a long-standing interest in Manchester City defender Nathan Ake, who 90min revealed in December was on West Ham's defensive shortlist.

In addition to signing a new centre-back, 90min understands that West Ham are looking to address other shortfalls in manager Moyes's squad depth which became apparent after a pile-up of fixtures caused by the club's surprise run to the Europa League semi-finals.

Among the players West Ham want to sign on a permanent basis are goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who was on loan at the club last season and patiently played second fiddle to Lukasz Fabianski, and Jesse Lingard, who is out of contract at Manchester United and is available on a free transfer should he wish to re-join the club he scored nine goals in 16 Premier League appearances for in 2020/21.

Central midfielder Josh Brownhill is also a target as West Ham look to replace retiring captain Mark Noble, and he should be available for a reasonable price after Burnley's relegation to the Championship.

Hull forward Keane Lewis-Potter is another player being considered, but 90min understands that a move for Aguerd - who made 54 interceptions, 30 blocks and 182 clearances in 31 Ligue 1 appearances for Rennes last year - is one West Ham are pressing on with and there's a willingness from both sides to agree a deal.