West Ham are determined to make Tottenham striker Robbie Keane their marquee January signing, as they look to boost their chances of Premier League survival.
• McCarthy eyes Keane swoop
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is keen to step up his pursuit of a new frontman and has already revealed that Keane will be allowed to leave to make room in the squad.
Redknapp needs to generate funds for a January plunge into the transfer market and Keane will be the most notable sale, though West Ham face stiff competition for the Ireland captain from Premier League rivals Aston Villa and Wolves.
Spurs are holding out for a £6 million transfer fee, plus a £1 million bonus should Keane help the Hammers or one of their fellow relegation candidates avoid the drop.
West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan are prepared to pay Keane's £65,000-a-week Tottenham wages for an initial six-month loan deal, then commit to a £6 million fee to take up the option of signing the striker on a three-year contract.
It would be a massive investment for the Hammers, close to £20 million in total for loan fees, transfer fees, survival bonuses, and wages for a striker who is 30, but the financial burden would be spread over nearly four years.
A West Ham insider told ESPNsoccernet: "All our options are option, but we think we have a good chance of landing Robbie Keane."
The club have also enquired about Manchester City pair Shaun Wright-Phillips and Wayne Bridge, but because the Irons are restricted to a total of two loan deals, and only one from a fellow Premier League club, they are likely to focus their attention on trying to sign left-back Bridge on loan until the end of the season.
The Hammers are close to completing the signing of Aston Villa's Steve Sidwell, while Monaco have given them the go ahead to move for Dieumerci Mbokani, though acquiring a work permit for the Congolese striker may prove a stumbling block.