West Ham are chasing Manchester City outcast Micah Richards as they step up their search to bring in a defensive recruit to bolster their injury prone back line, report the Evening Standard.
Richards’ current deal with the Premier League champions expires next summer and it is understood that he is reluctant to put pen to paper again having struggled to cement a place in the side.
City would want at least £7 million for the former England international, but Hammers boss Sam Allardyce would favour a loan deal due to the club having already spent a vast amount during this window.
The 26-year-old would certainly be a good fit at West Ham and could thrive if given the opportunity of first-team football, which he so desperately craves.
He can play competently as a centre-half but he favours the right-back role where he can bomb forward and join in with attacks, something we have seen him do with great success in the past as he is a handful for defences.
He has pace, power, skill and strength but is perhaps not the most aware in a positional sense, particularly when he is required to play as a central defender.
However he is more than capable of doing a job anywhere across the back line and the presence he would bring to the West Ham side would benefit them immensely, especially as they often struggle in that department with injuries.
Big Sam is also considering other options and may wait until after the weekend before launching any bids to see if James Tomkins, who missed the opening day defeat against Tottenham Hotspur due to a hamstring injury, recovers in time.
A scan revealed there was no serious damage but he faces a race against time to be fit for the weekend.
Furthermore, on-loan Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson, who also has a hamstring problem, could be fit to make his competitive debut for the club against Crystal Palace.
While Guy Demel can also play in the right-back role so their shortage on numbers could soon be resolved.
However Allardyce will still want to bring someone in as back-up and to avoid a selection crisis like last season, when they had to experiment with formations and players were forced out of position.
Richards fits the ball because of his versatility and proven Premier League quality, but the transfer fee may prove to be too big of a stumbling block to hurdle.