West Ham make move for 'powerful' £12.6m star at London Stadium

West Ham United manager David Moyes

West Ham United will ‘100% buy a defender’ before the transfer window closes on September 1 after being linked to Attila Szalai, according to Daily Star journalist Paul Brown.

The Hammers have already brought in Nayef Aguerd from Stade Rennais in a £30 million deal to bolster their backline and are expected to recruit further reinforcements over the coming weeks.

What is the latest news involving West Ham?

A recent report from Turkish outlet Yenisafak revealed West Ham are considering launching a move to sign Fenerbahce centre-back Szalai, who was also heavily linked to Newcastle United in January.

It’s claimed that Serie A outfit Bologna and Bundesliga side Wolfsburg have already had €9 million (£7.6m) offers rejected for the 24-year-old.

Fenerbahce are believed to be demanding €15m (£12.6m) for Szalai, though, who still has three years remaining on his contract at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, a fee that should be well within West Ham’s reach.

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The Hungary international is not the only player on the east London outfit’s radar, with Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth revealing they have ‘made an offer’ for Paris Saint-Germain’s Thilo Kehrer.

Issa Diop is closing in on a move to newly-promoted Fulham, while Aguerd could be sidelined until November with an ankle injury, meaning signing another central defender is now a priority for West Ham.

What has Brown said about Szalai?

Brown believes the Irons will definitely strengthen their defence and reckons Szalai would ‘fit in quite well’ at the London Stadium as he possesses the qualities that David Moyes looks for.

He told GiveMeSport: “They will 100% buy a defender before the window closes, I don’t think they have much choice.

“It’s interesting they’ve gone for someone like Attila Szalai, the Hungarian centre-back, he’s big, powerful, really strong; I like the look of him. I think he’d fit in quite well at West Ham; he looks like a good kind of Moyes defender.”

Would Szalai be a good signing?

Standing at 6 foot 4, Szalai is certainly an imposing figure, and he made his presence felt last term, racking up three goal contributions in 42 appearances for Fenerbahce.

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The stocky centre-half has developed a reputation for his no-nonsense approach to defending, and it’s unlikely that he would need an adjustment period in order to get used to the Premier League physicality.

Signing a player from the Turkish top-flight always has its risks due to the disparity in quality, yet Szalai has also proven his worth on the international stage, indicating he has a big future ahead of him.

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