West Ham have been handed a major boost with the news that star midfielder Alex Song will not be going to the African Cup of Nations having announced his retirement from the Cameroon side.
Manager Sam Allardyce had been linked with moves to sign midfielders in Song's place such as Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas) and Pedro Obiang (Sampdoria), and whilst Song is now staying at Upton Park, the Hammers are still monitoring midfielders.
According to the Daily Mail, West Ham have shown an interest in Atletico Madrid's Mario Suarez, with the intention of taking the Spaniard on loan for the rest of the season.
The 27-year-old started his career with Atletico as a 12-year-old, but spent four years away with Real Valladolid, Celta Vigo and Mallorca before returning to capital with Atleti.
Suarez, who has two caps for Spain, has started just six games in La Liga this term, with Diego Simeone preferring to use the likes of Gabi, Tiago, Koke and Raul Garcia in midfield.
That has led to speculation that Suarez, a powerful midfielder, would leave this month, with Arsenal and AC Milan both linked with moves to sign him.
However, West Ham are hoping to beat them all to his signature according to reports, with Allardyce looking to add better depth to his side this month.
Song's decision could change matters, but with three central midfielders necessary in Allardyce's diamond, another one could well be needed - which could see Suarez arrive at Upton Park.