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West Ham and Palace face major hurdle in free agent battle with Serie A top flight

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West Ham and Crystal Palace face an uphill battle convincing an impending free agent to leave Italy for England, according to a report.

Western ham are in the midst of one of their biggest Premier League campaigns. David Moyes turned the Hammers into a well-oiled machine, with vast upgrades to the front and rear.

The adoption of three full-backs helped their defensive resilience, with several of Moyes’ own rookies having made a huge impact.

Vladimir Coufal and Craig Dawson have both become regulars, but Dawson, with Fabian Balbuena faces an uncertain future.

The veteran pair’s contracts both expire this summer, meaning a center-back could be targeted soon.

Sport witness (citing an Italian point of sale Napoli sector) reveal West Ham are ‘on the trail’ of Naples’ central half Nikola Maksimovic.

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The Serbian, 29, will become a free agent this summer, and was previously valued around € 25million.

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Standing at six-foot-four, the sturdy Maksimovic would appear at first glance as an ideal Moyes-type defender.

However, the Hammers won’t have their way all the way. A second report from Sport witness says Crystal Palace is also part of the mix.

The Eagles’ season has been a bit quieter, although mid-table safety is more vital than ever.

Once the season is over, attention will turn to summer recruiting. The article notes that Roy Hodgson’s team has’been in contact with center-back agent Fali Ramadani about a possible summer move for the 29-year-old.

Palace worked on a limited budget throughout Hodgson’s tenure. As such, a free agent raid for Maksimovic would be in line with their recent deals.

The duo will face stiff competition from Serie A giants Inter Milan and Roma. In addition, the Italian teams would have a major advantage.

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This comes in the form of Maksimovic preferring a stay in Italy where he is already installed. Any potential move abroad is ultimately described as a “ plan B. ”

Lingard relays demands for Man Utd’s return


Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard is reportedly ready to tell Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he is ready to stay at Manchester United next season – but only if he is assured of playing for the first team.

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The 28-year-old found playing time difficult under Solskjaer and was forced to leave on loan in January. His move to West Ham, however, paid huge dividends. Lingard is in sensational form for the Hammers, scoring five goals and two assists in seven Premier League appearances.

Now according to ESPNLingard has reportedly told United he would happily return – but only if he offered them a more regular role. With only a year left on his contract, the 28-year-old is also said to be keen to see the deal extended.

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That leaves United and Solskjaer with something of a decision to make this summer. However, all hope is not lost for West Ham. United could not yet decide to take advantage of the player. In addition, Solskjaer could also decide that despite his rich form, a regular jersey cannot be guaranteed.

As No.10 Lingard faces the toughest competition possible in the form of Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford.

READ MORE: UKTN: Tuchel mingles with Chelsea as Liverpool star’s five-man fight begins


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