West Ham's interest in James Tarkowski has hardly been kept secret this summer. David Moyes is desperate to bring in reinforcements at the back and Burnley's captain has been viewed as the ideal candidate to provide a quick fix to those obvious defensive frailties.
The Hammers have already made attempts to sign Tarkowski this summer, all of which have been rejected - the most recent bid exceeded £30m. Sean Dyche understandably wants to keep his man and Burnley won't budge on their quite frankly ridiculous £50m valuation of the big centre half.
Things might look bleak for West Ham fans at the moment, especially because their club is being run so poorly. But missing out on Tarkowski might actually be a blessing in disguise if their recruitment team follow up on potentially better, more exciting and cheaper targets.
Let's look at some of the options out there.
1. Fabian Schär
Newcastle have a lot of centre-back options at the minute and should be open to offloading a couple of them before the end of the transfer window. With just one year left on his current deal, Mike Ashley will want to cash in on Schär rather than risk losing him on a free.
He has been an integral part of Newcastle's side since 2018 and has played 52 times for the Swiss national team. That experience would help make it an easy transition.
At 28, he is a year older than Tarkowski but would be a much more affordable option. The player himself is happy at Newcastle but has never ruled out a move away from the club.
Potential Fee: £15m
2. Mykola Matviyenko
West Ham are interested in bringing Matviyenko to London, but they face competition from other clubs and will need to act fast if they want to secure his signature.
Matviyenko is a product of Shakhtar’s youth system and has been a first-team regular since 2018. In the 2019/20 season, he helped Shakhtar reach the semi-finals of the Europa League, having earlier played in the Champions League.
Though Shakhtar predominantly use him as a centre-back, he has also played at both right and left-back for the Ukrainian outfit - that versatility could be useful for West Ham.
The only downside to signing Matviyenko is that it may take him some time to adapt to the pace of English football, so he may not be the quick fix West Ham need. That being said, at 24, his best years are still ahead of him.
Potential Fee: £15m
3. Ben Godfrey
Despite being part of Norwich's relegation side, Godfrey showed that he has a future at the top level - it is only a matter of time before someone comes in for him.
Norwich are trying desperately hard to keep him and like Burnley, the Canaries have tried to put off suitors with a ridiculous £50m price on the youngster. Nevertheless, they would be hard-pressed to turn away from the numbers West Ham were throwing around for Tarkowski (five years Godfrey's elder).
He could be the ideal man for David Moyes to build a team around - a young, confident English centre-half who has the potential to go to the top.
West Ham will have to move quickly if they want to sign Godfrey, with Sky in Germany reporting that Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig are interested in bringing him to the Bundesliga.
Potential Fee: £30m
4. Tosin Adarabioyo
Adarabioyo currently 'plays' for Manchester City but is yet to make his Premier League debut for them, having spent the last two seasons on loan at West Brom and Blackburn.
It was previously reported that City were planning to offer Adarabioyo a new contract, one that promised first-team football but that contract still hasn't materialised.
Adarabioyo will want to play regular football in the top division this season and West Ham could be a suitable option for the 22-year-old, either on loan or in a permanent deal.
If West Ham approach him before he signs a new deal, they could persuade City to let him go for as little as £8m, making him a much younger and more affordable option to Tarkowski.
Potential Fee: £8m
5. Calum Chambers
Reports claim that David Moyes’ side are one of a number of Premier League clubs interested in signing Chambers in this window.
We know that Arsenal need to sell centre-backs, especially now that new signing Gabriel Magalhães has hit the ground running at the Emirates.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Rob Holding were initially seen as the two men Mikel Arteta wanted to sacrifice but it seems the Spaniard has had a change of heart regarding the latter in recent weeks. That means Chambers could now be sold to raise funds.
His injury problems are an issue. Despite being on the scene for a number of years now, he has struggled to get a consistent run of games in the Arsenal first-team. However, he undoubtedly has the talent to improve West Ham and if they can get him for £12m as reported, signing him might be a risk worth taking.
Potential Fee: £12m