West Ham United are gearing up for a difficult season.
The club have been on a steady decline over recent campaigns which nearly saw them come unstuck last term.
But for a post-lockdown revival led by Michail Antonio, the Hammers could have been starting this season in the Championship.
Avoiding relegation in the final week of the season should have been a huge wake up call with the club looking to kick on over the summer.
The Premier League is getting more competitive every year, and that's why it's key for the Irons to strengthen if they're to pull away from a potential relegation battle.
Unfortunately for supporters, that hasn't really happened.
Permanent deals for Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal were completed over the course of the summer window, but that wasn't enough to consider their business finished.
The search for a central defender rumbled into the final minutes of deadline day as a deal for Fikayo Tomori fell through in the eleventh hour.
That means that the search continues.
With West Ham now limited to signings from the EFL they will be scouring the Championship for potential options who could improve the side.
According to the Daily Star, one of them is Steve Cook.
The defender could be tempted by a move back to the Premier League after suffering relegation with Bournemouth last term.
Valued at £8.55million by Transfermarkt, the 29-year-old has made over 300 appearances for the Cherries since arriving at the club in 2011.
Whether the Hammers can tempt Bournemouth into selling such a club stalwart, however, remains to be seen.
GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...
This could be a very shrewd move for West Ham United.
Described as 'incredible' by former boss Eddie Howe, Steve Cook is a player who would undoubtedly settle the ranks at the London Stadium.
At 29 years of age the Bournemouth defender is a model professional who has made a name for being a key player in the Cherries' rise to the top flight.
While they've now suffered relegation, he is still highly thought of and more than capable of competing in the top flight.
Cook is very much in his prime as a central defender and that could be perfect for the Irons as they look for someone to slot straight into their defence.
It's unclear just how much Bournemouth would command for Cook, but it's likely that he'd be an affordable option.
It's now just up to West Ham to decide if they're going to make a permanent move before next week's deadline.
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