West Ham are considering putting in a bid for Sunderland centre-half Lamine Kone, according to the London Evening Standard.
Kone has reportedly been on the Hammers’ radar for some time and may look to sign him if the Black Cats are relegated.
The 28-year-old joined Sunderland in the summer of 2016.
Sunderland were determined to keep him, who was such a key factor in their revival last season after joining from Lorient in January 2016. Selling him this season would have sent a defeatist message through the club, even if Kone’s performances this term have not really justified their stance to the extent they would have hoped.
West Ham have been particular concerned by the defensive frailties that had sucked the club back into relegation trouble recently after their climb into the top half of the table.
Last Saturday’s win over relegation rivals Swansea moved West Ham eight points clear of the drop zone and the club are confident that they can now start planning for next season in the top flight.
Also on their shopping list is a right-back, with Manchester City duo Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna both under consideration.