Chelsea have “told” West Ham target Trevoh Chalobah that he is allowed to hold talks with other teams ahead of leaving Stamford Bridge this month, according to HITC.
The 24-year-old has been on the Hammers’ radar, while Crystal Palace and Bournemouth are also keen on securing his signature.
However, it is believed that Chalobah is likely to move abroad instead, with the likes of Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Roma favourites to snap him up.
A lot, however, will still depend on who is willing to match the centre-back’s asking price. HITC say the Blues were holding out for £50m in the summer but they may accept a lower bid now.
It should be pointed out that Chalobah has not played at all this season. He has been struggling with a hamstring injury which he picked up just before the season opener against Liverpool.
Will West Ham look to sign another centre-back?
While a move for Chalobah seems to have been ruled out, David Moyes’s side are keeping tabs on a number of other targets to strengthen the middle of defence.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah remains the top priority, but his teammates Piero Hincapie and Edmond Tapsoba are also among the London club’s shortlist, along with Zenit St Peterburg’s Robert Renan, Stuttgart’s Dan-Axel Zagadou and Wolfsburg’s Maxence Lacroix.
A transfer depends on one West Ham player leaving first
Reports suggest that the Irons will only table a bid for one of these alternatives to Chalobah if Nayef Aguerd leaves the London Stadium before the January transfer window closes.
The Moroccan international has interest from Saudi Arabia, while teams in France, Spain and Italy are also monitoring his situation. Any sale would, though, have to match the initial €31m (£27m) that West Ham originally paid Rennes for the player last year.