Slaven Bilic has admitted his compatriot Jelavic could be also be leaving the club for China in his pre-match press conference ahead of their FA Cup clash with Liverpool.
That would pave way for another striker to come in given the club's persistent injury problems up front with the likes of Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll sitting out much of the season.
Pelle perfect solution
Pelle is believed to be a target for league leaders Leicester City ahead of the transfer deadline, as reported by The Sun.
But Bilic could yet muscle in on any deal for a player who took the Premier League by storm last season.
Pelle has 25 goals in 66 games for the Saints since his arrival from Dutch giants Feyenoord but has been frozen out of late with his prospects looking bleak after Ronald Koeman signed Charlie Austin.
The cultured striker would fit into Bilic's freeflowing attacking style, while he also has the physical presence the Hammers dearly miss on occasion when Andy Carroll is out.
West Ham would likely want to loan the striker with an option to buy in the summer.
With Victor Moses and Carl Jenkinson on loan from Chelsea and Arsenal respectively that is something West Ham would be prohibited to pursue by Premier League rules which only allow a maximum of two loans from sides.
Jenkinson injury opens the door
But now that Jenkinson has returned to Arsenal following an injury that will keep him out for around six months it is a distinct possibility.
With Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic, Shane Long and Austin all fighting for the attacking roles at St Marys, Pelle's future could be elsewhere come Monday's deadline.
Pelle could form a potentially deadly partnership with Hammers hero Dimitri Payet who is one of the top assist makers in Europe again this season.