By London correspondent Tony Hughes

West Ham are ready to hijack Everton’s move for Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye, according to a report.

The Merseysiders were on the verge of signing the Senegal international at the end of last week after triggering the £7.2 million release clause in his Villa contract.

ESPN claimed last Thursday afternoon that Gueye had headed to Everton to undergo a medical at the club.

Bu the Sun now report that Hammers boss Slaven Bilic is making a last-ditch attempt to pinch Gueye from under the noses of Everton.

It is said that West Ham are ready to meet the fixed fee in the 26-year-old’s contract and try to talk the player into a switch to the Olympic Stadium.

The Hammers have said they will take him and await permission to close the deal from Villa.

Despite his club’s relegation last term, the midfield enforcer was one of a few shining lights in a wretched Villa team.

Only former Leicester City midfielder N’Golo Kante completed more interceptions than Gueye last season and Koeman had identified him as his first major signing after sealing the capture of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg on a free transfer from Fulham.

But Everton were unable to finalise the transfer last week, which has opened the door for West Ham to make their swoop.

Gueye who is affectionately known as ‘Gana’ by supporters made a £9million switch from France last summer for then-manger Tim Sherwood, but after 35 appearances for the club he was unable to prevent their relegation as they conceded a miserable 76 goals.

In other West Ham transfer news, a fee has been agreed for one of the team’s star men to join a Premier League rival.