West Ham now have better chances to sign £17m defender than Crystal Palace

West Ham United is the most probable Premier League club to sign Juventus defender Koni de Winter, as interest from Southampton and Crystal Palace appears to be slowing down, reports the HITC.

The Belgium U21 international has been playing consistent first-team football for the first time in his career, on loan at Empoli. De Winter is proving himself at the Stadio Carlo Castellani, dispelling any doubts about his ability to make the step up from youth team football, with every towering header and well-timed tackle.

Empoli coach Paolo Zanetti told DAZN after Friday’s 0-0 draw with AC Milan, “He has the potential of a great defender and will play in a top club, not only because of his technical quality but also his composure.”

Although De Winter has been performing well on loan at Empoli, there are concerns that he could be sold before getting a chance to showcase his talents with the Juventus first team. The centre-back has attracted interest from Stade Reims, Monza, Sassuolo and Bayer Leverkusen.

West Ham may be looking for defensive reinforcements following the departure of Craig Dawson to Wolves in January and with Angelo Ogbonna turning 35 soon. However, De Winter’s price tag of £17 million may be a deterrent for Crystal Palace and Southampton. De Winter’s agent has previously stated that there is interest in the player from clubs in England, Holland and Germany, and discussions will take place to determine the best path forward.