Exclusive – West Ham are looking at a number of central defenses from across Europe, including Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykola Matviyenko and Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby.
The Hammers are getting ready for a virgin appearance in the Europa League group stage after securing a superb sixth-placed Premier League finish in 2020/21.
But despite the need to strengthen David Moyes’ squad with new additions, West Ham have only so far loaned goalkeeper Alphonse Areola from PSG – the club’s other newcomers are young players who are unlikely to play a prominent first team role this season.
There is money to be spent at London Stadium this summer and 90min understands that in addition to the interest in writing an attacking midfielder – Jesse Lingard, Matheus Pereira and Ross Barkley only three of the players that West Ham have looked at – there is a real desire to strengthen Moyes ‘backline.
A name on Hammer’s radar is Matviyenko, who has been of interest to the club for about a year. 90min revealed in August last year that he was a target for not only West Ham but also Everton, Wolves and Leeds. He has experience of playing in the Champions League and was seen by Arsenal before they signed Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille.
Another player that West Ham are monitoring is Valencia’s Diakhaby, who has three years of La Liga experience under his belt. The 24-year-old is excellent in the air and also has experience of playing in both the Champions League and Europa League.
There have also been reports of interest in Chelsea center-back Kurt Zouma, with Sky Sports indicating that contact has been made over a potential move of £ 20 million. The 26-year-old is likely to leave Stamford Bridge this summer to pursue regular first-team opportunities – something he is unlikely to get in west London if Jules Kounde comes from Sevilla.
In fact, Zouma may even be on his way to Spain as part of the deal, although it is believed he has settled in London and prefers to stay in the Premier League if possible. Chelsea’s valuation is believed to be higher than 20 million pounds, which may prove problematic for Hammarna given their desire to invest elsewhere.
Kurt Zouma has been linked with West Ham – but may be on his way to Sevilla / Manu Fernandez – Pool / Getty Images
West Ham are also interested in concluding an agreement with Slavia Prague for Czech winger Lukas Masopust. He is a former teammate of both Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal and could be available this summer for as little as £ 6 million.
However, there is competition for his signature, as Leicester, Watford, Brighton, Newcastle, Wolves and Crystal Palace have also been offered the chance to sign him.
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