West Ham are reportedly preparing a January bid for Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta.
The 33-year-old Spanish midfielder has endured an injury-hit season which has seen him able to play just seven Premier League matches for Arsene Wenger’s team till now this term.
Arteta’s current contract will expire in June and this will eventually allow the Spaniard to leave Arsenal on a free transfer when the season ends.
According to a report from Spanish website Fichajes, Hammers manager Slaven Bilic is keen to bolster his ranks by signing an experienced Premier League veteran to guide the young players and is eyeing Mikel Arteta as the man to fit that billing.
However, West Ham hierarchy is not in a mood to wait for the summer transfer window, they will rather try their luck to sign the Arsenal captain this month as they look to fight for the European qualification ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium.
Arteta’s future at the Emirates apparently looks more uncertain with Francis Coquelin being Wenger’s preferred defensive midfield choice and with the arrival of Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny it looks like, a move away from the Emirates would be the ideal option for the former Everton player.
Arteta has played 282 Premier League matches so far and has netted 41 times since arriving in England in 2005.
West Ham are also looking for a striker to replace the outgoing Nikica Jelavic.
30-year-old Jelavic is believed to be leaving Upton Park after he failed to cement his place in manager Slaven Bilic’s first-team this season. The former Hull and Celtic striker hasn’t scored in 11 matches for the Hammers this term and has only started two times.
The Hammers have already scouted a forward to replace the Croatia international and the striker is believed to be Simone Zaza, a bit-part player at Juventus this season.
The 24-year-old forward only joined the Italian giants from Sassuolo last summer after his dual-ownership between the two Serie A sides was resolved.
Zaza has scored six goals in 13 matches for Juventus this season but the Italians are reportedly eyeing a replacement striker to help boost their title chances.
West Ham right now sit sixth in the league table, four points adrift of their arch rivals Tottenham in fourth.