West Ham spy unique opportunity to sign divisive ex-Liverpool star mid-season

Former Liverpool stars Daniel Sturridge and Dejan Lovren

New FIFA rules regarding players based in Russia has led to West Ham being linked with bringing former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren back to England, per a report.

FIFA recently issued a directive that has allowed Russian and Ukraine-based players a way of avoiding the current conflict. Via the Athletic, it was reported on Monday that the contracts of ‘foreign players and coaches at Ukrainian clubs’ would be temporarily suspended until the end of June.

Furthermore, foreign players and coaches at Russian teams will have the right to suspend their contracts until the end of June if they do not come to a mutual agreement with their clubs. In other words, the affected players will be considered ‘out of contract’ until June 30.

That means players can sign a contract with another club despite the transfer windows being closed – providing agreements are struck before April 7. Purchasing clubs are allowed to register a maximum of two players via this route.

As such, a unique opportunity has arisen for clubs with unfinished business from the January window.

One such team that fits that bill is West Ham who failed to draft in cover at centre-back.

Hammers mulling Lovren swoop

And given the latest developments, Claret and Hugh (as cited in the Daily Star), report the Hammers are now monitoring ex-Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren. The Croatian, 32, is currently on the books of Russian giant Zenit St. Petersburg.

Lovren split opinion during his time at Anfield with baffling errors often marring otherwise solid performances. Yet his career since moving to Russia has rebounded and he remains a regular at the heart of the Croatian national defence.

Gerard Deulofeu is set for Premier League comeback with West Ham

Gerard Deulofeu is a target for West Ham as former Watford and Everton winger looks set for a Premier League return

With Angelo Ogbonna ruled out for the remainder of the season, Lovren could be an ideal stop-gap.

The Star report West Ham are keeping a ‘close eye’ on the veteran. If Lovren opts to leave Zenit by mutual consent, West Ham could effectively sign him like they would a free agent.

The outlet speculates a two-year contract could be in the offing in that scenario.

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West Ham make ‘concrete’ move for ex-Prem winger

Meanwhile, West Ham United could try to bring back Gerard Deulofeu to the Premier League after his previous spells with Everton and Watford, per reports in Italy.

According to Calciomercato, talk of a transfer to West Ham is concrete. The London outfit have made contact over a possible deal, it is claimed.

Deulofeu is currently enjoying a decent second season with Udinese. He has scored seven goals from 22 Serie A appearances so far.

It has led to rumours of a step back up to join AC Milan again. Although West Ham could give him something else to think about. They are aiming to secure European qualification for the second season in succession.

Now 27 years old, Deulofeu has developed since his last spell in England. He could be ready to prove himself again to the Premier League audience.

There are no details of how much a transfer would cost for the Spaniard. He is under contract with Udinese until 2024, so they will not necessarily be in a hurry to sell.

But West Ham could give him a better experience than being in the bottom half of Serie A. As such, the move may have some appeal.

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