West Ham have joined Tottenham, Everton, and Newcastle in the race to sign Real Betis full-back Emerson.
The Hammers, who are hovering just three points above the relegation zone with four games to play,
are lacking options at right-back after the departures of Pablo Zabaleta and Jeremy Ngakia at the end of June, leaving Ryan Fredericks as the only senior option at manager David Moyes' disposal.
Academy graduate Ben Johnson has featured in a number of West Ham's matchday squads since Premier League football got underway once more, but Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness) claim that the Hammers are the latest club to take interest in Emerson.
The 21-year-old has started the majority of Real Betis' La Liga games this season, and is currently co-owned by Barcelona after leaving Brazilian side Atletico Miniero in 2019.
The two La Liga sides paid half of his €12.7m fee, with an agreement in place that the 21-year old would play for Betis for two seasons before joining Barça in 2021. The Catalan giants do, however, have the option to pay Betis an additional €3m to bring him to Camp Nou a year early.
Barcelona may choose to take that option up, but not for the reasons you might expect. The club are enduring financial difficulties - like many others - because of a loss of revenue caused by coronavirus, and signing Emerson - to then sell him for profit - may be one way to raise much needed funds.
A report from Mundo Deportivo earlier in the week noted that Emerson would prefer to fight for his place in Spain, as well as detailing interest from Premier League trio Tottenham, Everton, and Newcastle. He may not have much of a say in the matter, though.
Each of the aforementioned sides are looking to strengthen their own squads, with Tottenham in particular yet to replace Kieran Trippier after his move to Atletico Madrid last summer. Serge Aurier is head coach José Mourinho's only option at present, and inconsistent displays have dogged the Ivorian.
As for Everton, they are looking for a long-terms successor to captain Seamus Coleman, now 31, while Newcastle are simply looking to provide further competition for regular starter D'Andre Yedlin. They may all be usurped by Borussia Dortmund, though, with the Bundesliga giants looking to fill the void created by Achraf Hakimi's move to Inter.