Report: West Ham discovered free target Baumgartlinger during intensive scouting of Karius

West Ham have been linked with signing Julian Baumgartlinger.

West Ham have been linked with signing Austrian midfielder Julian Baumgartlinger, and it may become a signing out of pure chance.

Austrian website Sportnet report that the Hammers are hoping to sign the 27-year-old Mainz ace, after discovering him while looking at another player.

The outlet report that West Ham sent top scout Tony Henry to go and check out goalkeeper Lorus Karius, a former Mancheser City trainee.

While there, Henry is reported to have been so impressed with Baumgartner that he recommended him to the club's hierarchy as a potential signing.

Baumgartlinger is a defensive midfielder who could be an alternative to Alex Song. Even more tempting is the fact his contract expires at the end of this current season.

He has made 18 appearances in the Bundesliga for Mainz this season, winning an average of 3.1 tackles per game, and he would be a potential bargain for the Hammers.

Their interest in Karius is also intriguing, considering their number one position currently being adeptly occupied by Adrian.

Scouts however are sent to track players in all positions so clubs have back-up plans and alternate options, and German under-21 international Karius is an excellent prospect for them to be considering.

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