West Ham are moving ahead with interest in Reims forward Boulaye Dia this week after discovering other avenues are too complicated.
An initial enquiry was made on Wednesday to test the water and now West Ham expect they will need to follow that up with an offer of up to £15 million to land him.
Dia’s style of play has been identified as more suited to West Ham than Sebastian Haller ever was and manager David Moyes is keen to secure him.
We first reported West Ham’s interest in the 24-year-old forward in December, as his goalscoring form caught the attention of recruitment staff. He has scored 12 goals from 17 Ligue 1 appearances this season.
There are a whole host of names that the club have been tracking ahead of the January window and we reported how they are keen on Olivier Giroud as a prime target in the wake of selling Haller to Ajax last week - but West Ham are concerned about the complexities of his situation and that it could drag on to late in the window without Chelsea making a decision on whether he is allowed to move on.
RB Salzburg’s Zambian forward Patson Daka is among others to have been scouted but is currently being priced out of a transfer as his club are looking for offers in advance of £20m.
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Meanwhile, Bournemouth’s Josh King is still in the background as a target and has been tracked for a long time.
West Ham are willing to give chances to 18-year-old forward Mipo Odubeko while this situation is sorted out.
He joined from Manchester United in 2019 as he felt there was better hope of first-team opportunities with the Hammers, and he got a very brief run out in the FA Cup against Stockport County last time out.
Sources say he was even considered for a start in that game and that he should get more game time in the coming weeks.