West Ham United have been linked over the past week with a £25 million move for Newcastle United skipper Jamaal Lascelles.
It comes amid a summer of unprecedented spending with West Ham splashing the cash for new boss Manuel Pellegrini while Newcastle look to loans and free transfers.
The Hammers have already spent £90 million and could take that well over the £100 million mark if they were to push through a move for Newcastle favourite Lascelles, as reported by Sky Sports.
While both West Ham and Newcastle are undeniably big clubs, the harsh truth for Magpies fans is that Rafa Benitez can only dream about spending such money at St James Park.
West Ham’s transfer activity has caught the eye this summer and even got a mention by Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand during the BBC’s coverage of the World Cup final.
And that kind of transfer business catches the eyes of players too, especially ambitious ones like Lascelles.
Yes the defender appeared to say all the right things when asked about the potential West Ham move on Sky Sports.
But when London is calling, and particularly such an ambitious project, it can prove difficult to resist.
“I’m just concentrating on playing football, on playing for Newcastle,” Lascelles told Sky Sports.
“When I came here the first season it was quite frustrating, in and out of the team and on the bench for most of it, but again the minute the manager (Benitez) came in he’s been fantastic for me and he’s been fantastic for the club and the city and everyone as a whole.
“I definitely think he’s had a huge impact on my development as a player and as a man and I definitely feel like I’m still growing and I want to give 100 per cent next season like I did last season.”
The usual platitudes when a player is questioned over a transfer move but it is all stacked around Benitez being Newcastle manager.
If West Ham were to up their bid and tempt Mike Ashley into doing business those words could prove to be mere lip service even if Lascelles is as sincere as they come.