Dynamo Kiev defender Aleksandar Dragovic too rich for West Ham?
New West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic looks set to continue bolstering his Hammers ranks as the Londoners (20/1 for a top six finish with Coral) prepare for Europa League qualifiers, with Dynamo Kiev defender Alexsandar Dragovic reportedly a top target.
However, the Hammers may be put off poaching the centre back by the Ukrainian club’s apparent asking price of at least £20m for the 38-capped Austria international.
Dragovic has made almost 80 appearances for Dynamo, particularly impressing in the Europa League with two dogged performances against Everton last term, and is said to have caught the attention of the continent’s elite, with Manchester United previously linked to the centre half.
A leader for country as well as club, tough-tackling Dragovic would be an ideal recruit for Bilic, a former defender himself, though the Croatian coach may be priced out of the move.
View Dragovic’s best defending:
The Upton Park side have money to spend, but have already splashed out around £10.7m on France playmaker Dimitri Payet and will be aiming to give their Europa League-challenging squad an overhaul in several areas, meaning such a substantial layout for one player is unlikely.
West Ham are also believed to be interested in Monaco centre back Aymen Abedennour, though the Tunisian toughman is also thought to command a similar fee to Dragovic and be too costly for the east London club.
In better news for the Hammers (7/4 for a top 10 finish) in the centre half position, Bilic will watch from the stands as Under‑21 coach Terry Westley likely gives highly-rated academy product Reece Oxford, just 16, his debut against upcoming Andorran opponents Lusitanos.
Bilic may also be given a transfer boost in other areas, as West Ham will reportedly sign loan star Alex Song from Barcelona on a permanent deal despite apparent interest from big-guns Manchester City, while Arsenal-owned right back Carl Jenkinson could return for another season-long temporary stint at Upton Park.