West Ham seal Nikola Vlasic deal for £25m and sign Alex Kral on loan

West Ham seal Nikola Vlasic deal for £25m and sign Alex Kral on loan

West Ham have followed the signing of Nikola Vlasic from CSKA Moscow for €30m (£25.7m) by bringing in Spartak Moscow’s Alex Kral on a season’s loan with a €13m option to buy.

David Moyes has been keen to bolster a squad that will compete in the Europa League and the manager has received impressive backing from the board. West Ham strengthened their defence by signing Kurt Zouma for £29.8m from Chelsea last Saturday and they were busy on deadline day, improving their attack by buying Vlasic and adding depth in midfield with Kral.

The signings represent an encouraging end to the window for West Ham, who last month brought in the goalkeeper Alphonse Areola on loan from Paris Saint-Germain to provide competition for Lukasz Fabianski. Moyes has driven the pursuit of Vlasic, targeting the attacking midfielder after it became clear that a deal for Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard was too expensive, and identified Kral as ideal cover in midfield for Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.

Vlasic, the Russian Premier League’s footballer of the year in 2020, is a different proposition from the player who struggled to make an impact after joining Everton in 2017. The 23-year-old, who has played 26 times for Croatia, including at Euro 2020, has excelled since leaving Everton for CSKA in 2019. The deal for Vlasic, who has a five-year contract with the option for another year, includes a further €9m in add-ons.

Kral is another promising talent. The 23-year-old represented the Czech Republic at the Euros, playing alongside Soucek and the West Ham right-back Vladimir Coufal. He is due to play for the Czechs in their World Cup qualifier against Belarus on Thursday. Kral’s arrival saw West Ham loan their young midfielder Conor Coventry to Peterborough.

There remains a chance that West Ham could push through one more signing but they have given up hope of bringing in a striker to support Michail Antonio. Antonio has been West Ham’s only senior striker since the sale of Sébastien Haller to Ajax in January.

Nottingham Forest are close to signing Xande Silva from West Ham for £200,000. The deal for the 24-year-old Portuguese striker is expected to include a 40% sell-on clause.

Brighton have made two signings, bringing in the Getafe left-back Marc Cucurella in a deal thought to reach £15m and buying the forward Abdallah Sima from Slavia Prague and loaning him to Stoke. They follow Enock Mwepu and Kjell Scherpen in joining this summer.

The 23-year-old Cucurella, part of the Spain side that won silver at the Tokyo Olympics, came through Barcelona’s academy before impressing with Getafe last season. Graham Potter, Brighton’s manager, said: “He is a versatile player and will add competition to the current squad.”

Sima, a 20-year-old Senegal international, scored 16 goals in 33 appearances for Slavia last season and has made a rapid rise in recent seasons.

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