By Derek Smithson
West Ham are preparing to move for Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina, according to a report.
Italian outlet Calcio Mercato claim that the Hammers will make an opening bid for the 23-year-old in the next few days.
It is understood that Serie A giants Juventus are willing to sell the Gabon international this summer for a fee of around £18million.
The report details that West Ham’s interest has become clear recently in the central midfielder, but that they face competition from Watford and Valencia for his signature.
Lemina joined Juventus back in 2015 and has made 42 senior appearances for the European heavyweights, scoring three goals in the process.
He is recognised for being a box-to-box player and has a brilliant work-rate in the centre of the park.
West Ham have already shown their intentions in the summer market by bringing in some high calibre players.
They have added Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic, Pablo Zabaleta and Javier Hernandez to their squad so far.
Football Insider verdict:
Lemina is a technically gifted player and is someone that could succeed in the Premier League. However, West Ham should look to significantly lower the £18million asking price of Juventus as the midfielder is still yet to set the world alight. The central midfielder has shown his qualities for Juventus and Marseille, with his hard work making him a good fit for English football. Slaven Bilic may be short of central midfield options going into the new season as Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate and Pedro Obiang are the senior options. West Ham should look to negotiate a deal for Lemina and he could be someone that succeeds at the London Stadium.
In other West Ham transfer news, they are plotting a £20million move for an international defender.