West Ham have tabled a bid for Atalanta's Guglielmo Stendardo and are waiting for a response from the Bergamo club, Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport has reported.
The Hammers sit second bottom of the Premier League and face a relegation dogfight in the second half of the season.
Manager Sam Allardyce has often admitted that his defence isn't as strong as it should be and is expected to bring in some new faces to steady the ship.
Former Lazio man Stendardo is an interesting figure off the football field - he has a law degree and runs an agriturismo farm where guests can stay near Salerno.
The 32-year-old is a towering six foot three and is noted for his prowess in the air but he is regarded as something of a journeyman in Italy.
His most successful spell came at Lazio where he played 85 games between 2005 and 2012 despite not always having the best relationship with coaches.
image: © Tom Cuppens