Roma are ahead of West Ham in the hunt to sign Guillermo Maripan from Deportivo Alaves, The Daily Mail reports.
West Ham are hoping to sign Maripan in the summer but will have to fend off comeptition from Roma to win the race for the central defender.
After conceding five in two games against teams in the relegation zone, Manuel Pellegrini has started looking for defensive reinforcements.
Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna have shared the central defensive duties this season but Pellegrini wants one more face.
Another centre-half looks like West Ham’s priority in the summer window as Winston Reid’s injury record is concerning and Reece Oxford’s future is in doubt.
But Roma are in pole position to sign Maripan after holding talks with the defender, who has been compared with Gerard Pique.
Who is Guillermo Maripan?
Maripan could be West Ham’s answer to their defensive woes but they will need to beat Roma to the 6ft 4in defender’s signature.
The 13-cap Chile international could team up with his fellow countryman Pellegrini at West Ham.
Maripan has been an instrumental part of the Alaves defence this season, helping them to a shock fifth position in the La Liga table.
In 22 league matches, the 24-year-old has made 46 tackles, 39 interceptions, 38 blocks and 125 clearances, as well as winning 91 aerial duels (Who Scored).
With two goals and two assists, Maripan is also a danger at the other end of the pitch and he is one of the top performing defenders in Spain.