West Ham United's scouting team were sent to France last weekend, as the club prepare to step up their interest in Bordeaux defender Ludovic Sane.
According to the Daily Mail, Sane has been a long-term target of the Hammers and Sam Allardyce is looking for more detailed reports on the centre-back now they feel they are in a strong position to secure his signature.
West Ham's start, which has lifted them into the top four, makes them an appealing club to join in the new year.
Allardyce will reportedly have funds to spend in the January window, as the club want to give themselves the best possible chance of claiming a European spot.
Ambitions at West Ham have risen because of their start and they feel that Sane could be a crucial addition.
The 27-year-old has impressed in Ligue 1 for a number of years and Allardyce reportedly feels that he could be a replacement for Winston Reid, if the New Zealander does leave.
Reid is stil in protracted contract negations with the Upton Park outfit and will be free to sign a pre-contract with foreign clubs in January, as things stand.
The central defender's contract expires next summer and it seems that his head has been turned by the reported interest that is growing in his services.
Losing Reid would be a major blow to West Ham, but they feel the addition of Sane would soften it considerably and a bid could be made if the scouting team report back positively on his performance.
West Ham are also apparently tracking Marseille defender Nicolas N'Koulou, while Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani is said to be of interest.