West Ham United have been heavily linked with a move for Chilean defender Guillermo Maripan.
Manuel Pellegrini’s immediate priority is to sign a striker.
After that another defensive midfielder should West Ham’s budget allow.
But Pellegrini did want to add another defender to his squad in an ideal world too.
Pellegrini wants compatriot Maripan
That’s where Alaves star Maripan comes in. According to the likes of The Sun West Ham are keen on Pellegrini’s compatriot and he too wants a move to the Premier League.
Manchester United are being linked with a mega money move for £75m-rated West Ham star Issa Diop (Telegraph).
The Hammers are adamant the Frenchman is not for sale.
Diop contingency plan faces new threat
But many West Ham fans feel the club might be tempted to take a mammoth sum and reinvest some of it in Maripan as a replacement.
That particular contingency plan is in jeopardy, though.
A new report from Spain claims Italian giants AC Milan have emerged as West Ham’s main rivals for Maripan.
Marca claims Milan have entered the race and are going head-to-head with the Hammers.
Hammers may have to act fast
It may focus Pellegrini’s mind somewhat knowing Diop could be sold should an earth-shattering bid arrive.
West Ham would also be wise to sign Maripan now for a reasonable price.
If they go to Alaves having sold Diop later in the window, the club will undoubtedly demand more as a result.