West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has admitted that he would love to sign Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen, but doubts his chances of landing the Belgium international.
Vermaelen, despite being the Gunners' skipper, has played a peripheral role at the Emirates Stadium for almost a year now.
The 28-year-old has only made seven Premier League appearances this season, with Arsene Wenger preferring the solid centre-back partnership comprised of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
As a result, the defender's chances of playing for Belgium at the 2014 World Cup finals have been hindered - and he has subsequently been linked with a move away from the club.
But, although Allardyce would love to bring him to Upton Park, the West Ham boss doubts the player would agree to move to the east London outfit.
"I think under the circumstances at Arsenal, in the position that they’re in, in the Champions League and cup matches, they’ve had to use him as soon as any of the two defenders have been injured," he was quoted as saying by the Independent.
"So I don’t think there’s any chance we’ll get somebody of his quality. It would be nice if I we could.
"I’ve had targets and I haven’t got one yet apart from Roger Johnson, so I’ll keep going and hope we get some."
West Ham currently find themselves 18th in the Premier League table, level on points with Sunderland and Cardiff City, in 19th and 20th place respectively.