West Ham United are one of three Premier League clubs who could pounce for Bundesliga defender Moussa Niakhate in the summer, a report has claimed.
Everton and Newcastle United have also been linked with Niakhate in a report from the Daily Telegraph. It is claimed that he could leave Mainz at the end of the season, by which point only one year will be left on his contract.
According to the report, there are clubs of Champions League stature in the Bundesliga who want to keep Niakhate in Germany.
However, the 26-year-old could get the offer of a new challenge in the Premier League by one of three admirers.
It appears West Ham have the most firmly established interest. Per the write-up, they have been looking at him throughout the length of Angelo Ogbonna’s ACL injury.
Finding defensive cover is a priority task for a club that has been balancing domestic and European commitments, and will be hoping to again next season.
They are currently depending on Kurt Zouma, Craig Dawson and Issa Diop. However, the latter has been linked with a return to his native France.
In turn, one of his compatriots could replace him, in the shape of Niakhate – who has played for Mainz for the past four seasons.
That marked his first venture outside his homeland, and now another new league could beckon for him.
Such an opportunity may also be provided by Everton, but that depends on their survival status. They are very much in a relegation battle with 10 games left to play.
Everton would only be able to move for the former Metz man if they stay in the Premier League.
Newcastle also in Niakhate battle
Top-flight status now looks more certain for Newcastle, who not so long ago were in peril themselves. According to the Telegraph, the Magpies are also tracking Niakhate as a potential summer recruit.
Dan Burn arrived to bolster their backline in the January transfer window. Although expectations are being kept under control for the summer, one more centre-back could arrive to partner him.
Valued at £8m, Niakhate would be a shrewd signing, which would allow other funds to be spent elsewhere.
He has started 22 matches for Mainz in the Bundesliga this season. Within those, they have kept eight clean sheets. And at the other end, he has scored three goals.
The left-footed defender might not be with them for much longer, though. Only time will tell which of his suitors wins the race.
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