West Ham and Crystal Palace are among the leading candidates to sign Leander Dendoncker as Atletico Madrid’s preferential option to sign the Anderlecht ace has expired, according to outlets in Belgium.
It was reported by Het Nieuwsblad that Atleti had secured a €20m preferential option to sign the midfielder but, according to Sudpresse, that option expired in January.
The Spanish capital club are instead expected to move for Villarreal anchorman Rodri at the end of the season, with Dendoncker likely to move elsewhere instead.
While the 23-year-old is primarily a defensive midfielder, he has often played at centre-back for his club in recent months, and that could be one of the reasons he is looking for an escape route this summer.
The Belgian has made 38 appearances in all competition for Anderlecht this term, while he has shown his leadership qualities by captaining them on 12 of those occasions.
West Ham are in desperate need of strengthening in the middle of the park with Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate being criticised by Irons fans on Twitter following another disappointing display in the 1-1 draw against Stoke City at the London Stadium on Monday night, and the highly-rated Dendoncker could be the answer to their problems.
AC Milan are keen on him, while both West Ham and Crystal Palace are believed to have enquired about him.