West Ham United have seized upon the opportunity to activate Ukraine winger Yehven Konoplyanka's buy-out clause with a £12m bid after Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur all passed up on the chance to match long-term interest in the star with a summer offer.
Konoplyanka was the subject of a failed bid from Liverpool in January and United and Spurs have both scouted the 24-year-old extensively over the last 12 months, but West Ham are the first club to strike this summer and are now confident of pulling off quite a transfer coup before the start of next season, according to the Daily Mail.
Lofty Wage demands
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce may have activated the Dnipro dynamo's release clause and be in pole position to make a marquee summer signing, but wage demands still remain a huge obstacle to the deal going through.
Liverpool offered Konoplyanka close to £6m-a-year in wages in their attempt to sign the versatile winger during the previous transfer window and he will want something similar to sign for West Ham.
Andy Carroll is currently West Ham's top earner on £75,000-a-week and Konoplyanka's wages will have to exceed that, one of the reasons Spurs and United have been so reluctant to get involved in a Premier League bidding war.
Van Gaal and Rodgers have other irons in the fire
There's no question that Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is a long-term admirer of the left-sided schemer, but Liverpool have moved on to other targets and already wrapped up a £25m deal for Adam Lallana this summer, a player who can play in the same position and with Premier League experience to boot.
United's interest in the 36-cap international meanwhile dates back to the 10 torrid months led by David Moyes, with Van Gaal paying little attention and forging ahead with his own transfer plans.
Tottenham Hotspur meanwhile have been very quiet in terms of transfer talks since Mauricio Pochettino took charge last month, which all bodes well for West Ham finally bringing a top Premier League target to England this summer.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms