Leicester City are the latest club to have joined the race for Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente, according to The Mirror.
Llorente has been a long-term West Ham target. This report claims that both West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur have been tracking Llorente. But Leicester are now in the race to sign the defender.
The 5-cap Spain international currently plays for Real Sociedad in the top tier of Spanish football. Sociedad are not under any pressure to sell him but he does have a release clause of £45m.
Llorente came through the ranks at Real Madrid but left after managing just three first-team appearances. After loan stints with Rayo Vallecano and Malaga, he found his new home with Sociedad. He has played 66 times for them since joining.
Leicester are still looking for a Harry Maguire replacement. Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans have played well this season but Leicester want strength in depth. Tottenham could swoop for a defender if Toby Alderweireld or Jan Vertonghen leaves. And West Ham’s defence has been leaky recently.
Diego Llorente for £45m: Is he worth it?
If West Ham have £45m to spare, Llorente should not be the man they go for. The 26-year-old is undoubtedly a useful defender but he is unproven in England and very expensive.
The Hammers have Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna competing for two centre-back spots. Winston Reid is still on the books and Goncalo Cardoso is gaining experience in the youth set-up.
Llorente should not be the priority in January. West Ham need to add another striker to their ranks and then look at holding midfielders, wingers and left-backs before signing a central defender.