Report: West Ham keen on Vidic-esque brute, but he wants free transfer elsewhere
West Ham United remain interested in signing Nikola Maksimovic but the Napoli defender is keen on a move to Spain, according to Valencia Plaza.
Maksimovic is one of the most sought-after defenders on the market this summer with the Serbian available for free. His contract at Napoli will expire on June 30 and will likely leave the Serie A side for pastures new.
The centre-half has suitors across Europe and has received several concrete offers to join once he becomes a free agent. Maksimovic is likely to decide his future either this week or next, but negotiations are not at an advanced stage.
West Ham, plus Real Betis, Valencia and clubs in Italy are all keen to sign Maksimovic this summer. But the 29-year-old’s favoured destination would be a move to Spain as he likes the style of La Liga.
Valencia are in total agreement between the manager and board that the 25-cap international would be a good signing. They admire his profile, feel he would suit their current players and are aware of his demands, as well.
Maksimovic is refusing to accept a pay cut to join as a free agent, given the lack of transfer fee. West Ham bid as much as €25m (£21.5m) for the defender last summer, per Calciomercato.it, after failing with a £14m (talkSPORT) offer.
TBR’s view: West Ham should step up Maksimovic efforts
David Moyes urged West Ham to sign Maksimovic in 2020 as he sought to land a real brute of a defender. The Serbian has been likened to his compatriot and Manchester United icon Nemanja Vidic for his powerhouse defensive style.
The 6 ft 4 titan is also good on the ball, rarely makes mistakes and is coming off playing 27 games for Napoli last season. West Ham clearly admire what he can bring to east London, too, with the Irons still keen on signing Maksimovic.
And as negotiations not at an advanced stage with Valencia or other suitors, West Ham should step up their efforts to sign Maksimovic. They have a limited window to strike a deal, and seemingly need to convince a move to England.