Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car turns down chance to join West Ham

  • Marseille centre-back wants to play in Champions League
  • Hammers have already failed in several bids for defenders

West Ham’s search for a new centre-back has suffered another blow after they were turned down by Duje Caleta-Car, who wants to stay at Marseille and play in the Champions League.

David Moyes is keen to strengthen his defence before the transfer window shuts on Monday night and was hopeful of signing Caleta-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-Étienne.

The snub from Caleta-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 Vladimir Coufal from Slavia Prague on Monday. The Czech Republic international joined for £5.4m and is in the squad to face Leicester on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the club have agreed to sell Josh Cullen to Anderlecht. The 24-year-old midfielder has failed to break into the first team after coming through the club’s academy and is set to undergo a medical before completing a move to Belgium.


Jacob Steinberg

The GuardianTramp

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