West Ham have withdrawn from the race to sign Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic and a deal for Kurt Zouma has also been suspended, with 90 minutes to confirm.
The Hammers have tried to strengthen their alternatives in central defense and have been in advanced negotiations with Milenkovic’s representatives for a couple of weeks. But progress has been slow during talks between the two sides, and things were further complicated by rival interest from Tottenham; they began their own talks with the Serbs last Friday.
90min has learned that West Ham have now pulled out of contact with Milenkovic and the decision to end their interest is manager David Moyes, who oversaw an exciting 4-2 victory in Newcastle on the premiere day of the Premier League season.
There will also be no move for Chelsea defender Zouma, whose future at Stamford Bridge is far from certain. The Blues are keen to make a deal for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and had hoped to use Zouma in exchange to bring down his price.
The Frenchman declined the decision because he is happy in London and was initially interested in exploring a move to West Ham when their interest became apparent. However, his wage demands are too exaggerated and the hammers are not willing to meet Chelsea’s price of 25 million pounds.
West Ham’s search for a new defender will continue, although time is running out for Moyes to bring in a new player and gain momentum before the club’s Europa League adventure begins.
There is still an appetite to bring in a striker, although West Ham have a hard time finding a skilled striker who is willing to play second fiddle to Michail Antonio. He started his campaign 2021/22 in fine style, with a goal and an assist in the victory in Newcastle, but worries remain about his future workload.
As for Milenkovic, talks continue about a possible move to Tottenham.
Lilywhites have already completed the signing of Cristian Romero from Atalanta for a fee approaching £ 50 million, but given that Fiorentina are likely to accept around £ 15 million for 23-year-old Milenkovic, Nuno Espirito Santo may still choose to double and bring the Serb. to north London as well.