West Ham rule out £35m deal for defender

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West Ham United have endured a horror summer transfer window.

The Hammers just haven’t been able to properly strengthen their squad in this market, despite initially bringing in Tomas Soucek on a permanent basis after his initial loan to the club.

They have sold Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion and subsequently promised that the money would be reinvested into the squad.

It seemed initially that James Tarkowski would be moving from Burnley but the club were unable to agree a fee and now have moved onto other targets, with Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic identified as a potential acquisition.

However, it now appears that, again, the deal has fallen apart, with the Hammers yet to strengthen their defence ahead of next week’s transfer deadline.

Owner David Sullivan appears to have discussed the deal with talkSPORT’s Jim White, having given something of a car-crash interview with the presenter last week, and he has outlined that the transfer has fallen apart.

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White, speaking on his show, has ruled out the prospect of Milenkovic moving to the London Stadium.

He said: “Just before we came on air, I was speaking to David Sullivan at West Ham.

“So they were interested in Nikola Milenkovic at Fiorentina, 22-year-old Serbian centre-back, more than decent, towering individual, takes no prisoners, tough guy at the back.

“They were quoted £25 million and £10 million in add-ons. That’d be a £35 million deal. Now, for whatever reason, it hasn’t happened. The move’s broken down.”

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Why on earth is Sullivan discussing West Ham’s transfer business once again?

The Hammers owner has never been shy about coming forward, but he has repeatedly aired the club’s dirty laundry in public.

He did that earlier in the window, trying to justify the sale of Diangana, and claiming that he was getting more “depressed” as the transfer window progressed.

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Now, again, he has leaked a piece of information that simply didn’t need to be leaked.

Milenkovic might have been a good addition to the club – he has made a total of 98 appearances for Fiorentina and has also won 20 caps for Serbia – but the done thing is simply to move on, not call a radio show and explain that a deal has broken down.

Fans have long demanded that Sullivan take his leave from the club; one can certainly understand why.

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