West Ham United and Newcastle want to sign Attila Szalai in new transfer
West Ham United and Newcastle are among a host of clubs interested in the acquisition of Fenerbahce centre-back Attila Szalai, according to Turkiye Gazetesi.
The Hammers had a bid of £13million turned down for Szalai by the Turkish club in the summer with David Moyes bringing in Thilo Kehrer and Nayef Aguerd to the London Stadium instead. [Ertan Suzgun]
The 24-year-old defender has established himself as a key cog in the heart of the Super Lig side’s defence over the past two seasons, and now has a number of suitors after his services, including Serie A side Bologna and Leicester City.
Manager Jorge Jesus is a huge admirer of the Hungarian and would like to keep Szalai at the club until his contract expires in 2025.
However, according to the report, Szalai “dreams of Europe” and wants to part ways with the club at the end of the 2022/23 season and wave goodbye.
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Szalai has all the makings of a great Premier League centre-back, standing at 6ft 4in tall and dominating opposition attackers with his no-nonsense style of defending.
Having been capped for Hungary 24 times, the defender is entering the prime years of his career, and it is not surprising to see both Leicester City and Newcastle keeping tabs on him as well as West Ham.
However, whether David Moyes needs another centre-back is up for debate.
After signing both Kehrer and Aguerd in the summer and already having Kurt Zouma, Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna and Ben Johnson in his squad, the Scot would surely have to let one or two of these players leave the club if he was to sign Szalai.
West Ham have more pressing issues within their squad than at centre-back, with marquee summer signing Gianluca Scamacca struggling to adjust to Premier League life in attack, and The Hammers also a Declan Rice injury away from disaster in midfield.
Szalai is clearly a talented player, but he is surplus to requirements in East London.