By George Overhill

4th Aug, 2022 | 5:10pm

West Ham United prepare new bid for Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai after first offer rejected

West Ham are readying a new bid for Hungarian defender Attila Szalai after having their original offer rejected, according to Omer Faruk Ozcan.

The Hammers have had the Fenerbahce man on their radar for over a year, being linked last summer and again in January [Sky Sports], but appear to have moved for him with an €8million offer.

David Moyes is looking for cover at centre-back after losing top defensive signing Nayef Aguerd to a long injury lay-off before the season has started.

That has led to the proposed exit of Issa Diop to be put on hold until a replacement option can be found, and that looks to be Hungary international Szalai.

Sabah Gazetesi reporter Oscan wrote on Twitter on Thursday afternoon (4 August) that the Irons had been unsuccessful with their bid of €8million and were preparing to make a new offer.

The 24-year-old has 27 international caps and European experience at club level.

Answer to log jam

The injury to Aguerd has been a major inconvenience for the whole picture at the back of the West Ham squad, with his absence a big blow and the knock on effects also a problem.

Diop will want a new opportunity after being relegated to fifth choice at the London Stadium, and the Hammers could do with making some money back on him after spending big this summer.

But neither can happen until cover is found, so if Szalai could be acquired for a relatively modest fee that would provide a solution.

The small original offer may be wishful thinking for a player who made 43 appearances last season, especially as he was valued at around double that according to Dharmesh Sheth in January.

His contract still has three years left to run so the Irons are likely to have to up the offer somewhat to bring him in, and the higher they have to go to do so the less attractive the deal becomes.

Aguerd will be back from injury eventually, although it could be up to three months, so spending the majority of the likely fee they could garner in selling Diop to then have a spare man at the end would be awkward.

But if they can reach a deal with his current club for a price that suites both sides it might still be worth it as he is a long-term target, and since Angelo Ogbonna is 34 and coming off a major injury.