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West Ham scouting Nikola Maras

West Ham scouting Nikola Maras

Serbian defender on Hammers' watchlist
Football Transfer Centre

West Ham have deployed scouts to monitor the progress of Serbia international centre-back Nikola Maras. The 6 foot 1 defender, who currently plays in Portugal with Chaves, has impressed sufficiently at club level to make the step up to full international honours.

A worrying start to the season for West Ham has seen the club prepare a shortlist of January transfer window targets and defensive reinforcements appears to be Slaven Bilic's top priority. Maras has impressed since making the move away from his boyhood club Rad and the pacey defender is valued at around 3.5 million euros by Chaves.

Porto and Benfica have both been monitoring the player's performances and are rumoured to be competing with the Hammers to make a move for the defender.

Maras, who has almost three and a half years remaining on his current deal, is known to be eager for a move to England and speaks fluent English.

The defender has two caps for Serbia, playing in two international games with Qatar and the United States.