By George Overhill

27th May, 2022 | 11:21am

West Ham United are interested in Empoli midfielder Kristjan Asllani

West Ham are interested in Empoli’s Albanian midfielder Kristjan Asllani whose reputation is growing within Europe, according to Calcio Mercato.

The 20-year-old is apparently firmly in the sights of Serie A giants Inter as they look to strengthen after losing their league crown to neighbours AC Milan.

The Nerazzurri are unable to spend exorbitant amounts according to the report so are hoping to take advantage of their strong relationship with his current club to move while he is affordable, and to head off interest from elsewhere.

But the Hammers and Leicester have both taken notice.

A price of €10million to €12million has apparently been given to Inter, which would evidently be easy to meet for English Premier League sides, but may not stay that low for long as Calcio Mercato says “Europe is beginning to notice him”.

Early bird

The Milan side seem to want to get this deal wrapped up before others can get involved, so the Irons are presumably going to need to move fast if they want to catch up.

The midfield picture is extremely thin at the London Stadium now that Mark Noble has retired and Alex Kral, who was barely noticeable anyway, has finished his loan.

It may be set to get even more sparse as Football Insider have reported that a bust up between Tomas Soucek and manager David Moyes means the club will listen to offers for the Czech.

And that is all before the long-running Rice saga is considered, although he seems more likely to remain at least for next season.

Even if Rice and Soucek do both stay the club could do with help in that area, and a young talent who has already gained a pair of international caps, and made 21 Serie A appearances might be the idea profile to learn behind them considering the low fee.

He was in and out of the side earlier in the season but looks to have developed as the year went on since from February onwards he played every league game, completing 90 minutes 12 times.

A low risk move sounds tempting but it might be too late if the club waits around.

In other West Ham news, Moyes is intent on bringing one Premier League star to the club but an affordable alternative has been lined up in the even that he’s unsuccessful.

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