Sources inside West Ham are 'sceptical' that the club will complete the signing of Gedson Fernandes this month with David Moyes turning his attention to a number of other midfield targets.
Fernandes has made 13 appearances for Benfica this season but looks set to depart the Estádio da Luz in January after falling out of favour. The Portuguese starlet is a versatile player who is capable of operating as a number ten, in central midfield or in a wide berth.
The 20-year-old has also attracted interested from Everton and Manchester United of late but it is understood that the player favours a move to a London-based club, due to the fact that he has family in the city.
Despite this, the Guardian report that negotiations between the Hammers and Benfica have stalled, with sources from within inside West Ham sceptical that an agreement can be reached.
The club had hoped to sign Fernandes on an initial 18-month loan deal, with an option to make the move the permanent, but as a result of the talks' lack of progress Moyes is said to be eyeing up a number of alternative signings to bolster his side's ranks.
Among those being considered is Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen. Moyes is a long term admirer of the former Liverpool man and with the Potters struggling in the Championship, they could be keen to shift Allen's Premier League salary from their wage bill.
The Hammers are also considering a move for Genk's Sander Berge. The 21-year-old is a far move defensively minded player than Fernandes but, at just 21, he possesses a similarly exciting level of potential. Berge has made 29 appearances for the Belgian side this season and has already won 20 international caps for his native Norway.
Although central-midfield is viewed as a priority West Ham are also lining up a potential move for a right-back, following the injury of Ryan Fredericks. The former Fulham defender will be out for at least a month with a hamstring injury and the Hammers are considering a move for Liverpool outcast Nathaniel Clyne or Newcastle's Javier Manquillo to plug the gap.
In other West Ham news, the £4m signing of Darren Randolph - which was first learned of by 90min back in December - has been delayed after the Middlesbrough keeper is yet to pass his medical. The Republic of Ireland international will have another scan on a recurrent thigh problem on Wednesday as he continues to negotiate personal terms with the Hammers.
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Source : 90min