West Ham close to sealing €30m deal for CSKA Moscow playmaker Nikola Vlasic

West Ham are close to strengthening their attack by signing CSKA Moscow’s Nikola Vlasic for €30m (£25.7m).

David Moyes is keen to increase the size of his squad before his side begin their Europa League campaign and West Ham intend to back their manager before the transfer window shuts on Tuesday. The club improved their defence by signing centre-back Kurt Zouma from Chelsea for £29.8m on Saturday night and their spending is not finished yet.

Moyes has driven the pursuit of Vlasic, who has improved massively since a disappointing two-year spell at Everton ended in 2019. The 23-year-old, who plays as a No 10, was part of Croatia’s squad at Euro 2020 and has also interested Milan this summer. West Ham believe he is ready to play in the Premier League after watching his performances at CSKA. The deal is close to being completed and will also include €8m in add-ons.

West Ham had also looked at whether a deal for Jesse Lingard was possible. The Manchester United player impressed during a loan spell at West Ham last season and the 28-year-old is unlikely to be a regular starter for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side this season.

The London Stadium club have been put off by the £25m fee United are demanding for Lingard, who only has a year left on his deal. Vlasic, five years younger than Lingard, is seen as better value for money. The Croatian will provide competition for Saïd Benrahma, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen in attacking midfield.

Moyes admitted he needs more options up front after West Ham’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace. Michail Antonio has been West Ham’s only senior striker since January and has repeatedly struggled with hamstring problems. However, West Ham have found it hard to find a suitable back-up striker for Antonio, who has four goals this season, so have decided to focus on attacking midfield instead.

West Ham have also signed Alphonse Areola on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain this summer. The goalkeeper is providing competition for Lukasz Fabianski, who has started the Hammers’ three Premier League games so far.