West Ham United may have joined Premier League rivals Newcastle in the race to sign £17 million-rated Ferdi Kadioglu with talks between Fenerbahce and David Moyes’ side reportedly underway.
The UEFA Conference League finalists find themselves in a rather strange position. West Ham have have a handful of right-backs at their disposal already, but none of them have really nailed down a starting spot under Moyes this season.
Vladimir Coufal, Ben Johnson and Thilo Kehrer all have their strengths, yes, but their weaknesses too.
Hence why reports linking Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka – one of this season’s most-improved players – with a return to London are not going away.
Turkish Football, meanwhile, say that initial talks are underway with another potential target, as United look likely to hang onto Wan-Bissaka. West Ham have reportedly entered negotiations – via ‘intermediaries’ – to sign Kadioglu from Super Lig giants Fenerbahce; anticipation that discussions will speed up following that Conference League final clash against Fiorentina on June 7th.
Is Ferdi Kadioglu really a West Ham United target?
It must be said, however, that the Turkish press have a rather hit-and-miss record when it comes to reporting on big-money Premier League transfers. And the scale certainly skews towards the ‘miss’ rather than the ‘hit’.
Aksam reported a week ago that Newcastle were closing in on a deal for one-time Derby County target Kadioglu but, as of yet, such claims remain unsubstantiated and – for the most part – unreported.
What is not in doubt, however, is Kadioglu’s talent and potential.
The versatile, Dutch-born 23-year-old is comfortable playing as a right-back, a right-winger and even on the opposite flank if required. He can also fit between a four-man and a five-man backline. Such flexibility could come in handy for a coach like Moyes who likes to adapt his set-up to suit the nature of West Ham’s opposition.
Coufal, meanwhile, is perhaps most likely to start for the Hammers against Fiorentina. He’s been a man revitalised since holding talks over a January switch to Bayer Leverkusen.
“Now I want to stay in England as long as possible,” Coufal explained recently.
“Of course, (interest from Germany) attracted me in a way. Leverkusen is an elite German team, there are two Czech boys in the squad (Adam Hlozek and Patrik Schick). They play interesting football.
“But maybe it would be a step back. Not from a team point of view, but from a competition point of view. The Premier League is the best in my eyes. So I preferred to stay. I’m happy to have earned a place in the West Ham squad.”