West Ham boss David Moyes is reportedly keen on bringing Joe Allen in from Stoke City.
According to the Mirror, the new Hammers manager wants to reshape his squad and has eyed Allen as a priority player.
Allen, a key figure in the Stoke squad, has been attracting attention from various other clubs. The Welshman's versatility is one of his biggest assets, and he is able to play both as a creative midfielder and one who drops deep.
The Potters have had to rebuff a few approaches for the player since signing him from Liverpool in 2016. And Swansea, also a former club, attempted to re-sign him during the last summer transfer window after losing Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton.
Ah, I see the Davids want Joe Allen. Now that there is unrealistic ;)— Gazascon (@gaznandi) December 28, 2017
Stoke coach Mark Hughes regards Allen as one of his best players at the club, and has since responded to the speculation surrounding the 27-year-old.
"We can't afford to lose a player of Joe's quality," the manager said on Friday (H/T the Evening Standard). "He is working exceptionally hard for us and we are really pleased with what he is producing for us at the moment.
"We won't be encouraging any bids for any of our key players, especially not in January, that is for certain.
"It is the first I have heard of that, but it wouldn't surprise me because he has been impressive this year."
Moyes is also reported as wanting a reunion with Lamine Kone, who played under him at Sunderland. Winston Reid's days at West Ham are said to be numbered, and the manager wants the Ivorian centre-back to come in as a replacement.