West Ham United were in the running to sign Mario Mandzukic from Juventus but look set to be beaten by Manchester United in January.
The likes of The Mirror have reported that West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini was pushing to sign the 245-goal striker, who is out of favour at Juve.
The Mirror claimed West Ham wanted to sign the 33-year-old Croatian on loan in January despite reservations about his age.
Mandzukic has scored 212 club goals in a superb career and a further 33 for his national team.
West Ham wanted Mandzukic
The forward, who can also play wide of a front three, is yet to feature for Juve this season under new manager Maurizio Sarri.
And to add insult to injury he was also left out of the Italian giants’ Champions League squad.
The veteran forward was linked with West Ham under Slaven Bilic and in Pellegrini’s first window in charge last summer too.
Mandzukic’s time in Italy looks certain to end in January but it is Manchester United who are leading the race.
And a new report seems to make it very clear as to why.
Super wages Mario
In order to have tempted the ageing Mandzukic to East London West Ham would have had to make him the highest paid player in the club’s history.
That title is held by the now departed Javier Hernandez. The Mexican pocketed a cool £140,000 per week during his time in East London.
And the report claims he is prepared to earn half that – £150,000 per week – to join Manchester United.
Catch 22 situation for West Ham
So there you have it, the Hammers would have had to set a new wage precedent to bring in a player seeing out the last couple of years of his career.
It is not that West Ham don’t have room on the books. The club cleared around £650,000 off its weekly wage bill when 11 players departed in the summer.
Whether £150,000 of that would have been wisely spent on Mandzukic is up for debate.
But the experienced forward would certainly have helped take the pressure off Sebastien Haller.
West Ham’s record signing is ploughing a very lonely furrow up front this season.
And Pellegrini does not possess one single proven back-up striker in his squad.