West Ham are one of a few clubs linked with a move for Nicolas Anelka after it emerged that Shanghai Shenhua are in talks with the striker about terminating his contract with the Chinese club.
Anelka has not enjoyed life at Shanghai since leaving Chelsea last January to sign a lucrative three-year deal with the Chinese Super League side.
The former France international found the net just three times as Shanghai finished a lowly ninth in the league last season, and the 33-year-old even endured a difficult spell as caretaker coach.
The Daily Mail has reported that the striker is prepared to give up the final year of his contract, thought to be worth around £7million, on the condition that Shanghai grant him a free transfer, with the English Premier League his preferred destination.
The news will have alerted Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, who is looking to boost his frontline in the January transfer window, with Andy Carroll currently out injured amongst other attacking players.
Queens Park Rangers are also thought to be interested, while other Premier League clubs may return to the fold upon learning that Anelka could be a free agent.
Shanghai Shenhua spokesman Ma Yue told talkSPORT: “The discussion is between the club and himself, I don’t know about the specific details. But so far we haven’t got the final result.”
Anelka has already played under Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers, where the Frenchman enjoyed a successful 18-month stint, scoring 22 goals, before moving to Stamford Bridge in January 2008.