West Ham’s bid to bolster their defensive options appears to be close to an end with Nikola Milenkovic on the verge of moving to the London Stadium.
The Hammers are understood to have come to an agreement with Fiorentina over a £14million deal for the 23-year-old Serbian international.
Milenkovic has long been linked with a move to West Ham with boss David Moyes keen to replace Fabian Balbuena in the Hammers squad.
The Serbian has been on the manager’s radar for some time and following the collapse of a deal to bring in Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma Milenkovic became the number on defensive priority.
The fee for Milenkovic is considerably lower than the £25million Chelsea were asking for Zouma and the reported £20million Marseille require for another Hammers target Duje Caleta-Car. Milenkovic’s price tag is representative of the time left on the Serbian’s contract in Italy with his deal due to expire in June 2022.
Milenkovic made 34 appearances for Fiorentina in Serie A last season and has 28 international caps to his name.
Such was his form for La Viola Italian giants Juventus were understood to be interested in the centre-back, however, Sky Sports have reported the Hammers have won the race for his signature.
Following the loss of Balbuena this summer Moyes is left with just Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna, and Issa Diop as his recognised centre-backs with Premier League experience.
Aaron Cresswell is capable of slotting into a back three and Frederick Alves is pushing for a league debut following a number of impressive pre-season performances in the backline.
However, with the added congestion of Europa League football Moyes is keen to add a defender to his ranks.
At 23, Milenkovic fits the Scot’s bill as a young, hungry player but also one who has first-team experience behind him having made more than 150 senior appearances.
Source by Football London