West Ham are reportedly planning to make a cut-price £4million January bid for Leeds United star Sam Byram, whose contract expires at the end of the season.
Byram, who can play as a right-back or on the right side of midfield, is one of the most highly-rated players outside the Premier League and has so far refused to extend his Leeds deal.
That has alerted a host of Premier League clubs, including Everton, Sunderland and Swansea, but West Ham are aiming to jump to the front of the queue for the 22-year-old, claims the Daily Telegraph.
Byram, who has come through the Leeds academy, has been in fine form for the Whites of late having scored three goals in his last six games.
But the club have only offered him the same terms but on a longer deal – an offer which Byram has rejected.
With Carl Jenkinson only on loan from Arsenal and failing to show the form of last season, right-back is a priority position for the Hammers during the transfer window. The fact Byram can also play on the right side of midfield would also soften the blow of losing on-loan Victor Moses at the end of the season.
West Ham have a very limited budget after spending heavily last summer, but they have already raised half of the £4million they need to bid for Byram by selling Matt Jarvis to Norwich City.
The Upton Park club believe Byram can have the same sort of impact in the Premier League as left-back Aaron Cresswell, who they signed from Championship club Ipswich Town in the summer of 2014.
Sunderland are seen as West Ham’s most serious rivals for Byram, with the Black Cats hoping that Whites loanee Liam Bridcutt can play a part in any potential deal.
Bridcutt has impressed since joining Leeds on loan, and while the Whites want to make the move permament, would struggle to afford the £1.5million asking price. Brighton are also known to be keen on re-signing the player they sold to Sunderland last year, but Sunderland would deal with Leeds as a priority if given first refusal on Byram.