West Ham’s search for a new centre-back has suffered another blow after they were turned down by Duje Ćaleta-Car, who wants to stay at Marseille and play in the Champions League.
The manager David Moyes is keen to strengthen his defence before the transfer window shuts on Monday night and was hopeful of signing Ćaleta-Car for around £20m. However, the 24-year-old Croatia centre-back has left West Ham disappointed after indicating that he has no desire to leave Marseille, who have been drawn in a Champions League group with Manchester City, Olympiakos and Porto.
West Ham have been struggling to sign a central defender. Under pressure to reinvest the money received from Grady Diangana’s £18m sale to West Brom, they have already failed with bids for Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic. Another target, Wesley Fofana, has joined Leicester from St Etienne.
The snub from Ćaleta-Car, who has impressed since joining Marseille from Red Bull Salzburg in 2018, could lead to West Ham turning to a cheaper option. Craig Dawson, relegated with Watford last season, could potentially join on loan. West Ham have also considered moves for Arsenal’s Calum Chambers on loan and Swansea’s Joe Rodon.
West Ham did manage to bring in a right-back when they signed Vladimi Coufal from Slavia Prague on Monday. The Czech Republic international joined for £5.4m and is in the squad to face Leicester on Sunday.