West Ham appear to still have a small edge as the chase looks set to hot up for Nottingham Forests sergeant major central defender Joe Worrall.
We understand that no new contract talks have been held with the player despite his contract expiring in two years time.
And in the meantime we have learned from sources close to Forest boss boss Steve Cooper that he remains keen on Hammers academy left back Emmanuel Longelo who has now been scouted on several occasions by the club and they told us he will start new talks with the Hammers in the summer.
The Championship outfit put in what a Hammers insider claimed was a ridiculously low bid in the winter which was immediately rejected.
But Cooper remains keen on the youngster and is looking at him as part – he hopes – of a Premier League Forest outfit next summer.
The one issue which could cause the Hammers a problem is that claims have been made Worrall became upset when after allegedly showing big interest last year the Hammers pulled out of a deal.
That won’t stop the Irons going back in the summer with David Moyes remaining keen on the 25 year old and maybe ready use Longleo as a makeweight at the best price he can get.