West Ham United’s transfer pursuit of a new defender continues, with two reports of offers for centre-half targets covered in today’s media.

Football Insider claim the Hammers are pursuing Napoli enforcer Nikola Maksimovic and the East London club are encouraged after placing an offer in excess of £20 million.

Meanwhile, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has stated West Ham have made an offer of €25 million (£22.8 million) for Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic.

Both players fit the bill for the Hammers – they are both Serbia internationals and have plenty of experience in Serie A at the top level.

West Ham’s board promised that the money garnered from the sale of Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion would be reinvested in the signature of defenders – but time is running out for deals to be completed.

A high-profile pursuit of James Tarkowski rumbled on for longer than it needed to, while the summer transfer window closes on Monday night.

West Ham are without Issa Diop at the moment, with Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena the only recognised and available centre-halves at Alan Irvine’s disposal.

The signing of one of the Serbian defenders would be a statement of intent given the reported fees and would show the Hammers fans that the board is serious about strengthening the first-team squad.

West Ham are back in action on Wednesday night with a Carabao Cup clash against Everton.