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Hammers given boost in pursuit of £25 million rated midfielder

West Ham United have been given a boost in the pursuit of Anderlecht star Leander Dendoncker after the Belgian club revealed he is free to leave the club this month for the right price.

The talented 22-year-old – who can operate as either a midfielder or a central defender – has caught the eyes of a number of clubs across Europe following his performances over the past 18-months.

Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are expected to compete with West Ham for the signature of the highly rated Belgian – though the Hammers are said to be leading the race with officials from the club having opened talks for the midfielder in recent days.

After a difficult start to the season however, Anderlecht say they will only sell at the right price so that they can re-build their squad after falling 13 points behind league leaders Club Brugge.

Anderlecht chief executive Herman van Holsbeeck said: “Dendoncker is the centrepiece of our defence.  If we let him leave it has to be for a lot of money.

“We also have to find a replacement for him, even if it is a loan for six months.

“A deal can be done if the interested club puts 25 or 30million euros (£22m-26.5m) on the table for him.

“I’ve experienced plenty of difficult transfer windows, but this one is the trickiest of all.

“I have been given the task of finding new players, but without a big budget.

“So I will try first of all to let certain players leave.”

Dendoncker’s contract at Anderlecht runs until 2021, however the midfielder opted not to sign an extension with the club during the summer in order to help force through a move to a Premier League.