West Ham and Spurs have just been absolutely played like a fiddle by the same transfer target as a new claim is made about a Serie A star.
West Ham and bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with mutual interest in a number of players this summer.
Spurs allegedly beat West Ham to the signings of Djed Spence and – after David Moyes allegedly turned down the chance – Yves Bissouma too.
Both Moyes and Antonio Conte reportedly tried to sign Filip Kostic, now bound for Juventus.
And another player heavily linked with both the Hammers and Tottenham is Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic.
West Ham have been chasing the big Serbian since last summer and continue to be linked with him as Moyes looks to sign another centre-back in light of the injury to £30m new man Nayef Aguerd (Fiorentina News).
Corriere Fiorentino (print edition, August 2nd, page 8) has claimed in the last week that Spurs boss Conte is a big fan of the 24-year-old and is also eyeing him up as a replacement for Japhet Tanganga.
The links made sense.
Both the Hammers and Spurs need to strengthen their respective central defensive departments this summer.
And both Italian Conte and West Ham boss Moyes, alongside head of recruitment Rob Newman, have been shopping in Serie A.
But West Ham and Spurs have just been absolutely played like a fiddle by the same transfer target as a new claim is made about the Serie A star.
Because according to reports from Italy Milenkovic and his agents have effectively used the interest from West Ham and Tottenham to get a bumper new deal at Fiorentina.
And it is a deal the Serie A side are confident he will sign imminently, putting paid to West Ham and Tottenham’s attempts to sign him.
The report suggests that La Viola have prepared a three-year contract for the Serbian defender, who has just one year left on his current deal.
It also claims that the defender will earn a salary of around €3 million (£2.5m) plus various bonuses in the new contract offered by Rocco Commisso’s club.
“Fiorentina have reportedly informed Milenkovic of their intention to keep him for a longer period,” GIFN reports.
“And they are also not against the idea of the player looking for a new club in the next summer transfer window.
“But La Viola don’t want to let him leave for free next summer, which is why they have proposed a renewal offer for Milenkovic.”
West Ham had all this last summer with Milenkovic, who has rather notorious agents.
At one point a West Ham deal for Milenkovic was being reported as done.
But as reported by the New York Times and Football Italia at the time, it emerged that alleged agents fees totalling a staggering £11m saw the ‘new Nemanja Vidic’s’ transfer to West Ham collapse.
So if the Hammers were interested then they should have known better.
West Ham have been linked with a host of other central defensive targets.
And Moyes must be confident of landing one of them having sanctioned the £15m sale of Issa Diop to Fulham.