Montpellier striker Elye Wahi “wants to go to West Ham”, according to Foot Mercato.
The French website claims that Chelsea have been favourites to recruit the 20-year-old up until now but they have not matched the player’s valuation, having had a €27m (£23m) bid rejected previously.
For that reason, West Ham have now emerged as frontrunners to snap up Wahi, who scored 19 times in Ligue One for Montpellier last season.
It is believed that the France Under 21 international’s asking price is around €35m (£30m), which should not be an issue for the Hammers who received £27.6m from the sale of Gianluca Scamacca to Atalanta.
Is there a danger that the move for Wahi could still be hijacked by Chelsea or other clubs?
Even before this latest development, it was reported that Wahi was having second thoughts about a move to Stamford Bridge.
If the striker had made the switch to the Blues, it was reported that he would have been loaned out to Strasbourg straight away, which is not something he was open to.
Other teams, such as Tottenham, Eintracht Frankfurt and Paris Saint-Germain have been keeping tabs on Wahi but there are no indications that they are prepared to table a formal offer for the player.
West Ham have also considered other forwards
In addition to Wahi, the Irons have been linked with Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun and Chelsea’s Armando Broja in recent weeks but deals for both players are likely to be complicated.
Balogun’s price tag is believed to be as high as £50m, and the American international does have other suitors, including Monaco, Inter and AC Milan.
Broja, meanwhile, has only recently returned to fitness after a serious knee injury. His manager Mauricio Pochettino is also thought to be keen on finding a replacement for the Albanian before allowing him to be sold or loaned out.