West Ham, Everton and Newcastle United are reportedly among the clubs interested in Mainz defender Moussa Niakhate this summer.
According to a report from Daily Telegraph, West Ham United and Everton are set to join Newcastle United in the race to sign Moussa Niakhate. The Mainz defender is facing an uncertain future at the club, with his current deal expiring at the end of next season. Mainz are expected to offload their captain in the summer for a fee of just £8 million as they look to avoid losing him for free in 2023.
Formerly of Valenciennes, the same club that produced Dayot Upamecano, Niakhate joined Mainz in 2018 in order to beef up the club’s defensive options. He did not take much time settling in, becoming an ever-present figure of the club’s backline from the first season onwards.
Almost four years into his spell in Mainz, Niakhate has racked up 128 competitive appearances for his team. During this period, he has emerged as a real defensive leader, impressing the onlookers with his sheer work ethic, commitment and aggression. He is even the current captain of the team and has played a key role in their success under Bo Svensson.
Niakhate’s success in the Bundesliga has made him an appealing target for West Ham, who are currently scouring the market for defensive reinforcements. The Hammers have struggled with injuries to Angelo Ogbonna and, to some extent, Kurt Zouma this term, and it is imperative for David Moyes to address this issue in the summer.
Bundesliga appears to have emerged as an appealing market for West Ham, with the club also being linked with Koln’s defensive prodigy Timo Hubers.
Newcastle United are another club keeping tabs on Niakhate, with Eddie Howe keen on adding competition for his current set of defensive options. The Magpies are also wary of Fabian Schar’s future, with the Swiss international emerging as a potential target for Serie A giants Napoli and AC Milan.
Everton are involved in the chase as well, although the Toffees are currently embroiled in a relegation scrap, meaning they can only afford to sign someone like Niakhate if they can successfully retain their top-flight status.
Everton are currently 17th in the league table, just three points ahead of the drop zone. But given their current form, it is quite plausible to see them going down at the end of the season, which could have major consequences for the team and the future of some of the star players, including Richarlison. West Ham and Newcastle might thus be better placed to land Niakhate.