Ex-Tottenham recruitment chief Paul Mitchell has advised David Moyes to bring St Etienne defender Wesley Fofana to West Ham in this window, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.
The Hammers have joined the race to land Fofana, 19, after St Etienne were left furious by the recruitment tactics of previous favourites Leicester City.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Monaco technical director Mitchell has told Moyes to push ahead with landing Fofana as he has great promise and “huge potential re-sale value”.
Fofana has made a huge impact in Ligue 1 since forcing his way into the St Etienne side last season.
He made 24 appearances for the French in a breakthrough campaign, including 13 league starts and four consecutive starts in the French Cup that included their 1-0 final defeat to PSG.
The 6ft 3in teenage centre-back is now hankering after a move to the Premier League and is firmly in the sights of West Ham.
He was left out of St Etienne squad for their 2-2 draw against Nantes last weekend after starting their first three league matches of the campaign.
Moyes is in the market for a centre-back who can strengthen a defence that has looked wobbly in recent seasons.
Co-owner David Sullivan substantiated this on talkSPORT today as he revealed his club could not afford to blow their entire £40million summer budget on the defender.
Leicester had been in pole position for Fofana, who had taken to social media to reveal his desire to complete a move to the King Power Stadium.
This site revealed on Tuesday that Leicester’s deal for Fofana was on the verge of collapse as St Etienne were ready to pull the plug on negotiations.
The French club are said to be “furious” at the Premier League club’s tactics for luring the teenager and don’t want to deal with them any more.
In other West Ham news, David Moyes is “kicking himself” after Celtic transfer decision.