West Ham’s £25m bid for Wolves’ Max Kilman to be rejected as Julen Lopetegui raids former club

Max Kilman in action for Wolves
Max Kilman is settled at Molineux - Getty Images/Eddie Keogh

Julen Lopetegui has made his first move to raid former club Wolves with a £25 million bid for Max Kilman.

West Ham’s new head coach is prioritising centre-back additions this summer after replacing David Moyes and an opening proposal for Kilman is set to be rejected.

Lopetegui made Kilman his Wolves captain during his spell in the 2022/23 season and has identified him as one of the club’s preferred options this summer.

Kilman, 27, could cost up to £45 million after Wolves rejected a £30 million bid from Napoli last year and then persuaded the defender to sign a new long-term contract.

Though Kilman is settled at Molineux, Lopetegui rates him highly and is keen to bring him to the London Stadium.

Wolves do not want to lose Kilman but are aware that a major sale this summer will allow Gary O’Neil far more room for manoeuvre in the transfer window.

Pedro Neto, the Portugal international, is another star who Wolves expect to receive bids for this summer.

Neto is rated at £60 million despite a season disrupted by hamstring injuries and has been a target for champions Manchester City and Newcastle United.

Algerian international Rayan Ait-Nouri has also attracted interest from rival clubs, while Joao Gomes and Matheus Cunha have admirers from across Europe.

Wolves may look to offload a number of fringe players this summer, with Daniel Podence, Goncalo Guedes and Sasa Kalajdzic available for transfer. Podence spent last season on loan at Europa League Conference winners Olympiacos.

O’Neil remains in the race for Southampton forward Che Adams, who will be a free agent at the end of this month.

Adams is currently with Scotland at Euro 2024 and his future will not be decided until he returns home.

Nottingham Forest and Brentford have also shown interest in the former Sheffield United and Birmingham striker.