West Ham United winger Felipe Anderson has emerged as a shock alternative transfer target for Real Madrid.
The Brazilian is a £65 million option for Zinedine Zidane according to Sky Sports (21/03 Transfer Centre, 12.15pm) in case they fail in their pursuit of top target Eden Hazard.
Anderson has had a decent first season at the London Stadium following his move from Lazio last summer for £35 million (rising to £42 million, The Independent).
He has been a mainstay in Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI, and has scored nine goals and made five assists in 35 appearances.
He has impressed on the whole, but reports that Real Madrid have made him a potential alternative to Hazard are definitely a surprise.
Real Madrid have actually done business with West Ham before – some will remember Julian Faubert’s ill-fated loan move to the Bernabeu back in 2009.
Should Hazard remain with Chelsea – which is arguably unlikely given his idol Zinedine Zidane is back in charge of los Blancos – then it could mean Anderson may end up jumping ship.
And if that happens, then it could be to the benefit of forgotten man Andriy Yarmolenko.
The Ukrainian international has been sidelined with an achilles injury since October, for which he required surgery.
He is likely to be out for the remainder of the season, meaning he may have to wait to reacquaint himself with the Hammers fans.
If Anderson left in the summer, then Yarmolenko would potentially benefit. Pellegrini has used Anderson religiously, but was less enthusiastic about playing the former Borussia Dortmund man right away.
It would be a chance for him to become the Hammers’ most dangerous wide man, with Manuel Lanzini to probably play centrally and the reborn Michail Antonio on the right.