Valencia’s Javi Fuego leads trio of players on West Ham’s radar

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West Ham have three players they are looking at signing according to the Spanish press, and Valencia midfielder Javi Fuego is the main target, so says the newspaper Marca.

The Hammers are likely to lose Diafra Sakho, Cheikhou Koyate and Alex Song for a sustained period from mid-January with the demands of the Africa Cup of Nations taking hold.

Therefore reinforcements will be necessary if they are to continue their attack on the European qualification places.

Sam Allardyce reportedly sent out chief scout Martin Glover to cast his eye over the 30-year-old Spaniard during Los Che’s La Liga tie against Rayo Vallecano.

By all accounts, Glover was please with what he saw in Iberia, and movements on a possible transfer are reported to have begun.

Fuego joined Valencia in July 2013 on a three year contract, and although he still has 18 months left to run, the fact he joined on a free may mean he is available relatively cheap, with a fee of around £4m mooted.

The tough-tackling midfield lynch-pin would be an able deputy for either Song or Kouyate in the heart of the Irons’ midfield, and would join during a season in which he has been in excellent form in the Spanish league.

So if he is one of three West Ham are after, who are the other two?

The east London side were extensively linked with Croatian full-back Ivan Strinic over the summer, but no move came to fruition, although that could change in January.

With a lack of depth in the left-back position, Allardyce’s men could look short if the in-form Aaron Cresswell picked up an injury.

And with Strinic’s contract with Dnipro expiring at the end of the month, it would be no surprise if the interest from the Premier League hasn’t already been put to the 33-capped international.

The third man on Messrs Gold and Sullivan’s radar could be subject to a bidding war in the upcoming window.

Celtic’s Virgil Van Dijk looked set to be on his way to Manchester United over the summer, with the Red Devils suffering somewhat of a defender shortage.

It appears that no bid came from the Old Trafford outfit, but the interest from numerous Premier League clubs continues to burn bright, with West Ham the latest to enter the fray, although a hefty bid may be required to tempt the Bhoys.

All in all, it could be a busy window for the side from the East End.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.