West Ham United have reportedly offered a two-year contract to Zenit St. Petersburg central defender and former Liverpool star Dejan Lovren.
According to a report from Tuttomercatoweb, West Ham United have offered Zenit St. Petersburg centre-back Dejan Lovren a two-year deal as they look to bolster David Moyes’ defensive roster. The Hammers are ready to provide the Croatian international with an escape route out of the club amidst complications following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Although the European transfer market for players has been closed since the winter deadline on January 31, FIFA has issued a special directive to re-open the window until April 7 designed to allow Russian and Ukraine-based players a path out of the present conflict.
Foreign players and coaches at Russian clubs now hold the right to unilaterally suspend their contracts until the end of June in the event they do not reach a mutual agreement with their parent clubs.
In short, the concerned player will be regarded out of contract until June 30, which means they can sign a fresh contract with another club, given arrangements are made before the April 7 deadline. To control the unfair advantage, the buying club can register only a maximum of two players through this procedure.
This has offered an extraordinary opportunity to the clubs with unfinished business from the winter window. One such club looking to utilise the second chance are West Ham, having neglected to bring in cover at centre-back in January.
As per Tuttomercatoweb, the Hammers are keen to bring Dejan Lovren, who is considering terminating his contract with Zenit for moral reasons and looking for a new team to join in July. The Croatian international has received a two-year deal from the Irons to return to the Premier League, while there is also interest from his former club Dinamo Zagreb in his native country.
The 32-year-old left Liverpool for Zenit for around £11 million back in the summer of 2020 after spending six years at Anfield, winning the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League the following year.
Lovren had a mixed spell at Liverpool, with high-profile errors frequently besmirching otherwise strong performances. Nonetheless, he has resurrected his career since moving to Russia, and he remains a mainstay at the core of the Croatian national team backline.
West Ham, meanwhile, could do with additional depth in the centre-back department, with Angelo Ogbonna out for the season due to injury. Lovren is still a very solid performer at the highest level and certainly has what it takes to compete with the likes of Kurt Zouma and Craig Dawson for a spot in Moyes’ starting lineup.
That said, having been linked with the likes of promising defenders Sven Botman and Duje Caleta-Car, signing a veteran as Lovren will surely underwhelm Hammers fans and would only be a short-term fix.
Furthermore, other reports suggest that the Premier League could block any potential transfers via the route as mentioned earlier in order to preserve sporting integrity, putting further question marks over the move. So, it remains to be seen whether West Ham will be able to sign Lovren before the end of the season.