West Ham have laid the groundwork to sign Josh King from Bournemouth in January after failing to land him in the main summer window.
The Hammers were the closest of the Norway international’s suitors to sealing a deal but had multiple bids rising to £14million rejected by the Cherries.
That was a disappointment to David Moyes, who spearheaded his club’s pursuit of a player he rates highly and had a number of personal conversations with him about the move.
Nevertheless, a recruitment source has told Football Insider that West Ham believe they have laid the foundations to sign King in January.
By that point, his asking price will have significantly tumbled – likely below £10m as he will have entered the final six months of his contract.
The player revealed while on international duty earlier this week he has an “agreement” with Bournemouth that he can leave.
West Ham believe King is also keen to sign, although the deal is likely to depend upon how the coming two months pan out and Moyes’ own position.
The manager has one new attacking player to work with after the Londoners completed the last-minute loan signing of Said Benrahma from Brentford.
West Ham agreed to pay an initial £5m loan fee for the 25-year-old and will buy him permanently for £20m plus £5m in add-ons at the end of the season.
It was Moyes’ preference to sign King, who is proven in the Premier League and able to play in a variety of attacking positions.
King has scored 48 goals in 161 Premier League appearances even though he is not an orthodox striker.
He has played just 23 minutes of Bournemouth’s four Championship matches this season but is now set to be welcomed back into the fold after failing to secure a return to the Premier League.
In other news, a huge Michail Antonio-West Ham update can be revealed.