West Ham United have been linked with an ambitious move for top Belgian talent Youri Tielemans before Thursday’s deadline.
The Hammers are enduring a terrible run of form, results and injuries.
Manuel Pellegrini is nursing a Premier League-worst injury list with many of his key players out for the season.
Marko Arnautovic could join them after picking up an injury in the 3-0 defeat to Wolves last night.
Injuries to force West Ham’s hand in transfer market
That has made the need for new recruits in January more acute.
West Ham have been linked with a host of players including Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez and Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck.
And it appears Pellegrini is keen for more creativity if a new report from Sky Sports is anything to go by.
Stiff competition for Tielemans
Leicester were understood to be in talks over a £20m deal for Tielemans, but manager Claude Puel played down the club’s interest this week.
The bad news for West Ham, though, is they face competition.
The same report claims Newcastle and Arsenal are also keen for a player once coveted by Barcelona.
Top talent with everything to prove
Tielemans joined Monaco in 2017 for £20 million and has scored six goals in 65 games for the French club.
At 21 it is exactly the sort of signing West Ham should be looking to make if they are serious about helping Pellegrini turn the East Londoners into a genuine force.
Tielemans was famed for his amazing skills and goals for Anderlecht as an emerging teenager playing for the club’s first team.
The big move to Monaco has not quite panned out as he would have liked, though.
He has been a first team regular. But the step up in class from the Belgian league to Ligue 1 has slowed his progress.
Therefore a move to the Premier League would raise huge question marks.
But if the Hammers are successful with a loan bid they must ensure there is an option to buy should Tielemans impress at the London Stadium.