West Ham look to have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Carl Jenkinson on Friday, with the full-back omitted from Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Asia.
The 23-year-old spent last season on loan in east London, impressing Hammers fans and neutrals alike with some solid displays at right back.
Talk this week had been of how Jenkinson was on the verge of signing a new contract with the Gunners, although a return to the Boleyn Ground on loan could have still materialised in that situation.
However, the Upton Park outfit would reportedly rather he return to the club on a permanent deal this summer.
The fact that the England under-21 international has been left at home, rather than join his Arsenal team mates for fixtures against the likes of Everton, Stoke and a Singapore Select XI suggests a switch out of Ashburton Grove is on the cards again.
He has been looked over in favour of 17-year-olds Dan Crowley and Chris Willoch, so his time at his boyhood club looks to be running out.
And with Hector Bellerin and Mathieu Debuchy ahead of him in the pecking order, it would certainly make sense for the former Charlton man to seek out more first-team opportunities.
Sunderland had reportedly agreed a deal with Arsenal, but talks broke down when it was revealed Jenkinson would rather stay in the capital.
That puts West Ham in pole position to bag a second spell with the man that made 29 appearances last season, be it on loan or on a permanent deal.
With only Joey O’Brien as a senior right back, the club are in desperate need for reinforcements in the position.
Former player Glen Johnson is available on a free transfer and with the Hammers at 3/1 to bag the 30-year-old, a return looks a strong possibility.
While Johnson would be an adequate acquisition with little outlay, it appears Jenkinson is target number one for the Hammers.
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