West Ham United are exploring the possibility of signing Strasbourg centre back Mohamed Simakan, who is valued at close to £20m by the French side.
Hammers boss David Moyes has made it clear that he hopes to find some defensive reinforcements before the transfer window closes. Burnley's James Tarkowski was near the top of his wish list, but after several failed bids, West Ham have started to look elsewhere.
One player who has played his way on to Moyes' radar is Simakan, and The Sun claim club scouts have been keeping a close eye on the 20-year-old to determine whether Strasbourg's £20m valuation is fair.
Simakan only made his senior debut last season but quickly blossomed into a core part of Strasbourg's senior set-up, making 25 appearances in all competitions and establishing himself as one of Ligue 1's top young players.
He operated primarily as a right back, although the Frenchman is a centre back by trade and is even comfortable in defensive midfield, with that versatility helping him attract interest from AC Milan in recent months.
The fear for West Ham is that Simakan does not come with much top-flight experience and still appears to be somewhat of a risk for a side who are in need of an immediate impact from a new signing.
Scouts have by no means limited their search to Simakan. The Hammers have also been linked with Chelsea's Antonio Rüdiger, Saint-Étienne's Wesley Fofana and Arsenal's Rob Holding as they look for someone to come in and help out Moyes' struggling defence.
West Ham have conceded twice in each of their first two Premier League games this season, and in the 2-1 loss to Arsenal, he resorted to using left-back Aaron Cresswell in a central role despite having Fabián Balbuena on the bench.
Academy starlet Aji Alese was called up for the Carabao Cup victory over Hull City, but Moyes is believed to favour signing somebody with more senior experience.