Report claims West Ham have offered contract to defender dubbed the new Vidic

West Ham United Gate

The Hammers have reputedly offered a four-year deal to Torino centre-back Nikola Maksimovic.

It seems as though West Ham United might have begun their summer transfer plans already, with Italian source Gianluca Di Marzio reporting that the club have offered a four-year contract to Torino centre-back Nikola Maksimovic.

The 24-year-old has caught the eye with some commanding displays at the heart of the Serie A club's backline this season and has made 15 appearances for the club this season despite an extended injury absence earlier in the campaign.

The Serbian international has become known as a tough tackler who also has the ability to play the ball out of defence, and has been compared to former Manchester United and Serbia captain Nemanja Vidic in his home country.

Gianluca Di Marzio claims that the defender has been a long-time target of fellow Italian side Napoli, but that Slaven Bilic is ready to bring him to the Olympic Stadium next season as the Hammers look to build on a successful season with a push for the top four next term.

The source reports that the Hammers have already offered Maksimovic a four-year deal worth around £1.6 million to move to England as they look to increase and improve their central defensive options.

Bilic already has Winston Reid, James Tomkins, James Collins, and Angelo Ogbonna as in that position, but with Reid and Tomkins having struggled with injury for part of the season and Collins turning 33 this summer, the club are thought to be keen to strengthen their ranks at the back.

However, any potential deal for Maksimovic could be scuppered by Torino's valuation, which is thought to be around £20 million with the defender still contracted to the Turin side until 2018.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch