West Ham United made a £10million bid for Lorient forward Alexis Claude-Maurice this week.
According to Sky Sports West Ham offered £5million more than London rivals Arsenal for the 21-year-old star.
The Gunners were said to have opened the bidding at around £5million.
And on Wednesday night West Ham bettered that with their offer (Sky Sports).
Hammers and Gunners playing cat and mouse
But reports soon surfaced that Arsenal were going to trump West Ham with their own improved bid of £11million (Get French Football News).
That had eyes rolling among Hammers fans who are desperate to see the club sign quality talent this summer.
But all hope is not lost.
The same report claims Arsenal’s bid will be rebuffed and names the price West Ham must pay to beat the North Londoners to the punch, and by when.
Price and timeframe set
“Lorient intend to reject any bid below £13.5m and are hoping to make up to £17.5m including bonuses for the youngster who is attracting interest AS Monaco, Lille, Mainz and Gladbach,” GFFN reports.
“The situation is expected to accelerate in the next 10 days.”
Whether West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold will cough up the cash and in the timeframe suggested remains to be seen.
So far in the window their apparent policy of starting with low bids has not paid dividends.
Owners must change approach to snare top talent
Claude-Maurice is a France Under 20 international with bags of potential.
His attacking talent would complement the defensive acumen of Declan Rice perfectly.
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is said to be looking to build a young, powerful side.
Claude-Maurice was recently filmed in London in a video on social media.
He is a former teammate of Arsenal star Matteo Guendouzi and he was in the capital for a visit, read the full story here.