- Duje Caleta-Car has thumbed down West Ham’s offer to sign him, a report said
- The defender wants to stick with Marseille and play in the Champions League
- West Ham is running out of time to find a center-back
West Ham United FC may have to look elsewhere to fill in its center-back void with target Duje Caleta-Car opting to stick it out with Olympique de Marseille, a report said. The 24-year-old prefers to stay with Marseille and play in the Champions League, adding another big blow to the Hammers who have not had much luck in the transfer market.
The Guardian reported that Caleta-Car had no desire to leave Marseille, which has been drawn in the Champions League group that includes Manchester City, Olympiakos and Porto.
With the transfer window closing on Oct. 5, David Moyes and company will have to work fast and explore other options. Another player reportedly on their radar is Watford’s Craig Dawson, whom they could land on loan. Other players West Ham could go after include Calum Chambers of Arsenal and Joe Rodon of Swansea.
Caleta-Car’s rejection is an unfortunate development for Moyes, who is bent on improving the West Ham defense. The Hammers dangled an offer roughly worth $26 million for the services of Croatian, per The Guardian. Unfortunately, Caleta-Car did not appear interested in the offer on the table.
This development adds Caleta-Car to the list of players that West Ham had targeted but eventually missed. Other targets the Hammers tried include James Tarkowski of Burnley, Wesley Fofana and Nikola Milenkovic. Of those targets, only Fofana has been picked up and is now with Leicester City.
With time not on their side, the Hammers now have limited options. Dawson was mentioned as a target, but fans are not too impressed with what he brings. Some took to social media to give their opinion, with most branding it as a joke.
West Ham is set to face Leicester City on Sunday, meaning the club may have little time getting any deal done before the transfer deadline. So far, the only significant signing the club has had is Vladimir Coufal.
The 28-year-old addressed the right-back needs of West Ham, which needs someone to fill the void left by Ryan Fredericks who is dealing with a hamstring injury. Speaking via the club’s official website, Coufal revealed that he was not afraid of what the Premier League holds.
“I have enough experience from the Europa League and last year the Champions League, which are a similar level to the Premier League, so I am not afraid of this level,” he said.