West Ham have had to do without Jack Wilshere for much of the season after his historic ankle problems flared up again.
The former Arsenal man was a gamble worth taking on a free transfer but the Hammers will have known all about his injury problems and now find themselves in a position where they actually need to pay the going rate to add some creativity to their central midfield ranks.
To that end, the Sun linked them last month with a £20m swoop for Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle, who has found himself out of the picture at St James’ Park in recent months, due in no small part to the emergence of local hero Sean Longstaff.
And now Spanish outlet Marca claim that the Hammers are willing to match Victor Camarasa’s 24 million euro (£20.6m) release clause at Real Betis when his loan spell with Cardiff City comes to an end this summer.
The Hammers have seen up close how good Camarasa can be – he scored against them in a dominant performance during last month’s 2-0 loss against the Bluebirds.
They reportedly face competition from Tottenham and Everton for his signature, but for very close to the same money they’d be paying for Shelvey, West Ham could get a player who has impressed in the top flight this season, with the craft and guile they need.
Shelvey’s attitude has always been an issue – so has his consistency – and although the idea of bringing a local lad back to London may appeal to some fans, it’s Camarasa who has had the better season.