There was an audible hush here in the Transfer Tavern when our landlord came to the bar brandishing a report from Bild that West Ham are keen on Hamburg’s Johan Djourou.
The 30-year-old Swiss centre-back is a name familiar to followers of the English game, with the experienced defender having spent over 10 years at Arsenal, with a loan spell at Birmingham wedged in the middle of this.
He was not, however, a first-team regular in that period and one Gunner here in the Tavern has actually been chuckling at the notion of West Ham seeing him as a viable option.
Alas, Bild claim that West Ham are keen on Djourou, whose contract expires at the end of the season.
Given that his deal is due to come to an end and he’s based abroad, West Ham are free to initiate talks with the player ahead of a Bosman switch.
Hamburg are keen to keep their captain, but given that they are embroiled in a relegation battle they are not in the position to commit to a long-term contract given the very real threat of Bundesliga 2 football next term.
West Ham are also keen on Jermain Defoe of Sunderland, who may be available for free this summer if the Black Cats are relegated to the Championship.
West Ham cannot progress under Slaven Bilic – agree?