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6th Dec, 2016 | 4:06pm

West Ham eye loan-to-buy January deal for Manchester United first teamer - report

By Harvey Byrne

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has emerged as a January target for West Ham, according to a report.

The Evening Standard claim that the 29-year-old is a loan target for the Hammers with a view to a permanent deal at the end of the season.

It is stated that manager Slaven Bilic is looking at United first teamer Fellaini to play as a holding midfielder, or as a forward, with his physicality proving an asset in the past.

Usual centre-forward Andy Carroll can provide the physical presence up top, but he has only recently returned from an injury and there’s no telling when he will receive his next one.

Fellaini rose to fame at Everton, where he played in 177 fixtures before completing a mega £27.5million move to Manchester United in 2013.

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He has struggled to establish himself at the Premier League giants and under Jose Mourinho he has played 14 times in all competitions this season.

His most recent appearance on Sunday saw him come off the bench against former club Everton and he gave away a penalty within five minutes of the 1-1 draw.

However, West Ham are in desperate need of more bodies, as they sit just one point above the drop zone in 17th after 14 matches.

Football Insider verdict:

Clubs like Manchester United are far above the level of a limited player such as Fellaini. However, clubs such as West Ham and Everton are not. The Belgium international would suit a team more where he isn’t expected to keep possession, or supply the attack with killer through balls. His game play requires a team where he can do the dirty work in midfield, or be used as a battering ram presence further up the field. He’s never been known for his nimble footwork, but his unorthodox style has proved an asset in the past and he could prove a good addition for the Hammers.

In other West Ham transfer news, the Hammers should sign this soon to be available player to solve problem position.