With a prolonged interest in Guillermo Maripan according to Football London and Manchester United interested in Issa Diop via Sky Sports News, rumours in regard to the central defensive department have been a feature of West Ham’s summer so far.
After a season where the Hammers conceded the highest amount of any club in the Premier League top-ten as well as the likes of Crystal Palace and Newcastle letting in fewer goals than the east London side, Manuel Pellegrini is right to be looking at improving the defence this summer, and according to the latest reports, West Ham have been trying to swoop in for players who seemingly are already on the move.
Il Messaggero report that FC Copenhagen defender Denis Vavro, who is likely to join Lazio this summer, was the subject of a last-ditch bid from West Ham, a player the Serie A side are set to pay €9 million (£8.07 million) for.
The Slovakian centre-back was previously reported last week by Tuttomercatoweb to be a defender that Watford were also interested in before Lazio stepped up their efforts in signing the 23-year-old defender, and based on his record last season, it’s understandable why West Ham have entered the race.
The Slovakian defender, who is valued at £5.4 million on Transfermarkt, was a mainstay in Copenhagen’s first-team last season, playing 50 games for the Danish giants and keeping 20 clean sheets as the centre-back picked up his first league title in his career and, as a scout report from Football Whispers details, Vavro’s tackle success rate of 60% is actually higher than both Issa Diop’s at 56% and Fabian Balbuena’s at 50% based on stats from the Premier League’s official website.
While Football Insider reported back in June that Winston Reid would get a chance to prove himself to Pellegrini after a long-term layoff during pre-season, the Daily Mail (8th June) did suggest fellow centre-back Angelo Ogbonna was one of the players the club were hoping to offload, so perhaps a space for another option could open up.
A full international already with Slovakia, the 6’3” defender would have been a decent pickup for the Hammers, who last season spent a reported £22 million on Diop according to BBC Sport, but with Pellegrini going in for Vavro so late into Lazio’s negotiations for him, it is seemingly likely to be too little too late for the West Ham boss.
West Ham fans, which defender should the club sign this summer? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!