By Nick Ware

4th Aug, 2021 | 8:15am

West Ham want to sign 20-year-old Nice defender Flavius Daniliuc

West Ham are battling Premier League rivals Southampton for the signature of 20-year-old Nice defender Flavius Daniliuc, according to the Daily Mail.

It is claimed that both clubs have the Austria Under-21 captain on their radar after being alerted to his availability, with the former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich academy player available on a permanent or loan deal this summer.

Daniliuc made a big impression during his first season at Nice after signing in the summer of 2020, making 26 appearances across Ligue 1, the Europa League and the French Cup.

He is said to be rated as one of the best 20-year-old talents around, while German news outlet Bild said the central defender was “almost reminiscent of a bodybuilder” last month.

Keeping it cheap?

It looks like Daniliuc could represent a cheap alternative if more expensive moves for the likes of Kurt Zouma and Nikola Maksimovic do not work out.

While neither of those central defenders is old at 26 and 23 respectively, they have accumulated much more experience than Daniliuc and would cost much more in terms of transfer fees and wages.

With no senior outfield signings yet made at the London Stadium this summer, the fear among fans is that once again we are penny-pinching in the market and refusing to shell out on big fees.

Daniliuc has terrific pedigree given his past at European giants Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and impressed in France last season, but this would surely be an inexpensive gamble, and he wouldn’t come in to seriously threaten Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna or Issa Diop in the short term.

As such, supporters may be slightly disappointed with this news, though there is no mention of a bid being imminently placed, and if he does arrive this summer, is sure to receive the backing of the fans, despite frustration that a more experienced defender has not been signed.

In other West Ham news, ExWHUemployee has dropped a significant Declan Rice update amid a Monday ‘Meltdown’.

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