By Tom Blackburn

West Ham have made an approach for Torino centre-back Nikola Maksimovic, according to a report.

Sky Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claimed on his website that the Londoners are in discussions with the player’s agent after making a “surprise inquiry” for the 24-year-old.

It is said that West Ham have been given a glimmer of hoping in beating long-term suitors Napoli to his signature as Torino would rather sell to a team abroad than a Serie A rival.

Chelsea are also weighing up a move for the player, who the reliable Di Marzio reported last week was on the verge of a £20million transfer to Napoli.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said a fortnight ago that he wanted to sign five more players before the window shuts, before the club subsequently secured forward Andre Ayew, left-back Arthur Masuaku and on-loan striker Jonathan Callieri.

Serbia international Maksimovic has been a mainstay of the Torino side since joining from Red Star in the summer of 2013, initially on a season-long loan.

He has made 76 appearances for the Italian club and can also slot in at right-back and in a defensive midfield role.

The 11-times-capped international has four years remaining on the new contract that he signed last December.

In other West Ham transfer news, the club have fought off competition from Tottenham for an £18m defender.