West Ham have been given a huge boost in their centre-back pursuit as Napoli open the door to the sale of Nikola Maksimovic, Football Insider has learned.
The Hammers have tabled a new £20million-plus bid for the Serbian in the latest twist to their summer-long defender pursuit.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that West Ham have been given encouragement from Napoli that a deal can be agreed at close to that mark.
The Italian club are willing to offload Maksimovic although they will push West Ham to pay a higher portion of the fee up front.
Talks are set to continue today over a potential deal for the 6ft 4in colossus,
He is out of contract at the Serie A giants next summer and attempts to extend his agreement have so far failed.
Maksimovic has spent the last four years at Napoli after signing from Torino in 2017 for around £19m after a season on loan.
He has played 73 times for Napoli and has formed an especially strong partnership in the last two seasons with Kalidou Koulibaly.
West Ham are working on multiple potential centre-back targets as they look to bring in at least one by next Monday’s cut-off.
Following the collapse of deals for Burnley’s James Tarkowski and St Etienne’s Wesley Fofana, the Hammers are now working on a deal for Maksimovic.
They have also lined up Swansea City’s Joe Rodon as an alternative and, as revealed by Football Insider on Monday, have put together a £15million bid for the 22-year-old.
This site revealed last Monday that the London club had ended their interest in Tarkowski, 27, after a series of bids for the England international were rejected by Burnley.
The Hammers have also held talks over a potential deal for Fofana but have been unable to reach an agreement and he is now close to joining Leicester City.
In other West Ham news, David Moyes is said to be “kicking himself” over shock Celtic transfer decision.