The Fiorentina ace would have been a cheaper alternative to Jonjo Shelvey for West Ham United.

The Hammers are close to sealing a £12 million deal to sign Newcastle ace Jonjo Shelvey, according to the Express, as David Moyes looks to bolster his midfield ranks at the London Stadium.

Have West Ham missed a trick, though, in not moving for Fiorentina ace Milan Badelj, who is out of contract with La Viola in June?

The Croatia international is an accomplished deep-lying midfield player, and possesses a wonderful array of passing skills. He would have been the ideal addition for the Hammers, and they could surely have signed him for a cut-price deal this month, with his contract so close to expiring with the Serie A side.

Whilst the potential signing of Shelvey for £12 million represents decent business for West Ham in the current market, they could have earned themselves an even greater bargain by bringing Badelj to the club this month for a minimal fee, or even on a free transfer in the summer.

The 28-year-old midfielder is a proven commodity at the very highest level, and his 32 international caps for Croatia serve as evidence of his quality.

Badelj is also a physically robust player, and possesses all of the attributes required to be a success in the Premier League.

He would have been the ideal long-term replacement for Mark Noble, but it looks like the east London outfit have missed a trick in not bringing him to the club this month, and instead focusing on the signing of Jonjo Shelvey from the Magpies.

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