West Ham eye ambitious swoop for £18m-rated Serie A star


West Ham are keeping tabs on highly-rated Torino centre-back Nikola Maksimovic, according to MailOnline. 

The 24-year-old is supposedly attracting serious interest from the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Napoli after enjoying a stand-out season in the heart of Torino’s back-four.

Maksimovic is a Serbia international who has earned nine caps for his country to-date and, despite standing at a whopping 6ft 4ins tall, is a tidy player who is comfortable on the ball and extremely versatile – having the ability to play anywhere across the back four and as a holding midfielder.

MailOnline claim the club are hoping the potential pull of a place in next season’s Champions League will boost their chances of attracting highly-rated players like Maksimovic in the summer, though the club lost vital ground in the race four the top in recent weeks following a run of four consecutive Premier League draws.

Torino have responded to the increased interest for the defender by reportedly slapping an £18million price-tag on his head, which would seem to be slightly inflated given the fact Maksimovic has only really enjoyed one good eye-catching campaign since signing for the club in July 2014.

Transfermarkt.com value the player at just £5.25m but with the reported interest in the defender including such high-profile clubs, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him leave for more than Torino’s initial valuation.

Would he fit in at West Ham? Well, WhoScored.com claim that one of his weaknesses is ‘Arial Duels’ which doesn’t particularly bode well for a towering centre-half.

However, his strengths include Passing, Dribbling, Tackling, Ball Interception and Concentration – all of which lends themselves to Slaven Bilic’s preferred style of play.

Maksimovic has made 15 Serie A appearances for Torino this season, registering one assist in the process.

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