West Ham have concluded their search for a right-back after signing Vladimir Coufal from Slavia Prague for just over £5m.
David Moyes was on the hunt for a right-back after losing Ryan Fredericks to a hamstring injury and has been tracking Coufal for a while. The Czech Republic international is well known to Tomas Soucek, who joined West Ham from Slavia in January, and Moyes believes the 28-year-old, who has signed a three-year deal with a two-year option, is equipped to adapt to English football.
West Ham, who are adamant Declan Rice will not join Chelsea before the transfer window shuts on Monday, have been under pressure following the controversial £18m sale of Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion last month. They promised the money for the winger would allow Moyes to strengthen his defence but have found it difficult to complete signings.
Moyes wants a commanding centre-back and has failed with bids for Burnley’s James Tarkowski, Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Wesley Fofana, who is set to join Leicester from St-Étienne. Milenkovic is valued by his club at £35m, pricing West Ham out of a move.
Coufal’s arrival should lift the mood at the London Stadium. The defender won two Czech titles since joining Slavia in 2018, has played in the Champions League and was in the Czech Republic team that beat England last year.
“He is a player we have been tracking for some time now and all of our reports have been very impressive,” Moyes said. “He has a lot of attributes and qualities that we believe will enable him to adapt quickly to the demands of the Premier League
“We need to give Vladimir some time to settle in but having Tomas Soucek here will help him in that sense, and we are confident that he will make a positive impact and prove to be a great addition to the squad.”
. In central defence West Ham have also looked at Napoli’s Nikola Maksimovic, who is out of contract next year, and Swansea’s Joe Rodon. Arsenal’s Calum Chambers could be an option on loan. Moyes has also considered strengthening in other areas and had a bid for the Club Brugge midfielder Hans Vanaken rejected this week.