West Ham are keeping tabs on Royal Antwerp midfielder Arthur Vermeeren, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Catalan publication claims that the Hammers have been watching the teenager for quite some time, being one of four teams to have “scouts” in the stands for Antwerp’s game against Gent at the start of this year.
Barcelona, Monaco and Barcelona also had representatives at that match, where Vermeeren played the full 90 minutes as Antwerp secured a 2-0 win.
Mundo Deportivo report that Manchester United, Liverpool, Brighton, RB Leipzig and Ajax have also begun following the 18-year-old’s progress since then.
If any club wants to sign Vermeeren, though, he won’t be available on the cheap, with Antwerp said to be demanding around €15m (£13m) to €20m (£17m) for the player.
What do West Ham fans need to know about Vermeeren?
The teenager prefers to play the anchor role in midfield, dictating the tempo of the game with his passing from deep-lying positions.
Vermeeren has yet to make his debut for Belgium at senior level, despite his undoubted talent. He actually only made his first appearance for the Under-21s earlier this week.
West Ham are not really in the market for midfielders
It’s hard to see where Vermeeren would fit in at West Ham. Manager David Moyes has already brought in two midfielders, James Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez, over the course of the summer. If the Belgian were to be signed in January as well, he would probably spend long spells on the bench.
Fans will, however, be glad to see that West Ham’s scouting department are keeping an eye on Europe’s most talented young players. If he finds a team that matches his style of play, Vermeeren could flourish.