By Wayne Veysey

6th Jul, 2021 | 7:00am

Sources: West Ham open preliminary talks with Rennes to sign Aguerd

West Ham have opened preliminary talks with Rennes over signing defender Nayef Aguerd, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The Hammers are stepping up plans to land a centre-back ahead of the new Premier League season.

A West Ham source has told Football Insider that Morocco international Aguerd has emerged as a top target for manager David Moyes.

Discussions have begun over what it would take to lure the 25-year-old to the London Stadium on a permanent deal.

West Ham have received glowing reports from scouts about the versatile defender, who can also slot in at left-back.

He is not the only centre-back on Moyes’ target list, with Villarreal’s Ramiro Funes Mori also being considered.

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Like Aguerd, the former Everton defender can play at both centre-back and left-back, which are key for the Londoners.

Football Insider revealed on 26th March that the Irons have made the capture of a top-level centre-back a priority this summer.

Moyes wants cover and competition for senior trio Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson following the summer exit of Fabian Balbuena.

Aguerd joined Rennes from Dijon last summer for a fee of around £3.6million and signed a contract running until 2024.

He had an impressive debut campaign, making 35 league starts among 40 appearances in all competitions.

West Ham have registered their interest in Burnley’s James Tarkowski but fear he could be priced out of their range.

The Hammers tabled a series of rising rising to £30m for the Englishman last year but Sean Dyche’s side refused to sell.

In other news, Maguire drops £10million reveal as Sky update on West Ham transfer.