According to a report by Sky Sports News, West Ham are one of a number of teams to have shown interest in 23 year-old Fenerbahce centre-back Attila Szalai.
The Lowdown: Moyes scrambling for a defender
The Hammers have not had the best of luck regarding central defenders this year. Following Angelo Ogbonna’s cruciate ligament rupture which has side-lined the Italian for the remainder of the season, David Moyes began the hunt for a central-back, as he had just three first-team options available.
This need was further exacerbated by Kurt Zouma’s hamstring injury, which rendered the Frenchman unavailable for the hectic Christmas period.
With Ogbonna’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, West Ham may be extremely short in the centre-back position even once the Italian is fit. As a result, Moyes and the Hammers board have been scrambling in their search for additions, with a number of other clubs seemingly also in the hunt for a defender.
The Latest: Hammers interested in Szalai
According to Sky Sports News, West Ham are showing interest in Fenerbahce colossus Szalai. It is reported that Newcastle and AC Milan are also interested in the Hungary international, with all three clubs in the market for a central defender.
It is believed that Szalai would cost in the region of £16.7m, with the 23-year-old’s current contract running until 2025. Hungary manager Marco Rossi said he believed Szalai, who played in every minute of his country’s Euro 2020 campaign, was joining Chelsea.
The Verdict: Exciting potential
With a lack of depth in the central defender position, it is evident that Moyes will be very keen on securing the services of an extra centre-half in the January window. Szalai could prove to be the answer to Moyes’ problems, as the 6 foot 4 youngster has consistently played 90 minutes in the Turkish league this season, without sustaining any serious injuries.
Having been dubbed the ‘Hungarian Virgil van Dijk’, it certainly seems that Szalai has impressed during his short tenure in the Turkish league. Following his magnificent tournament at EURO 2020, the defender received heavy interest from teams across Europe, with giants including Chelsea and Atletico Madrid reportedly interested.
If Moyes does decide to go in for the player though, they are set to be met by tough competition.
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