West Ham plot move for Portuguese starlet

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West Ham United are facing a pivotal few weeks.

After narrowly avoiding relegation last term attention now turns to this Premier League campaign and avoiding the drop once more.

A late run of form saw the Hammers avoid the drop before the last game of the season, but this time around could be even tighter.

Such a near miss signalled the need for David Moyes' side to strengthen in the transfer market in order to avoid another relegation battle.

But as far as supporters are concerned, they still haven't done enough.

Tomas Soucek is the only player to arrive at the club so far, while the Hammers have already lost Albian Ajeti, Jordan Hugill and the club's hottest prospect, Grady Diangana, this summer.

Diangana's exit has not gone down well with players or supporters, and now the West Ham hierarchy need to move quickly to ensure that the team is suitably prepared for the season ahead.

While only one player has arrived so far, reports are suggesting that efforts are being made to strengthen the squad with one exciting target making the headlines.

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Reports from Teamtalk have revealed that West Ham have made a bid for Marcos Paulo.

The Fluminese forward is one of the hottest prospects in South America at the moment and is attracting interest from Arsenal, Watford, Leeds and Southampton.

However it's the Hammers who are said to be leading the chase.

Paulo is only 17, but despite being born in Brazil he would qualify for a work permit after representing Portugal's national team at youth level.

It remains to be seen how much it would take to convince Fluminese to sell, but with a £40million release clause in his contract it suggests that a deal could be expensive.

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GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

West Ham United really need to buck up their ideas in the transfer market.

While Tomas Soucek was a decent addition, it's not enough to help them achieve their objectives this season.

David Moyes' side look destined to be involved in a relegation battle, and that's not going to change.

But if they can strengthen then they may have enough to avoid the drop again.

Marcos Paulo is undoubtedly a top talent, but to spend such a vast sum on a young player when there's so many deficiencies in their first team would be worrying.

The Hammers need to focus on adding Premier League experience to their side, and that's where their remaining funds should be spent.

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