Report: West Ham eyeing Bundesliga veteran as loan star's replacement

West Ham United are reportedly keen on signing Julian Baumgartlinger, with Alex Song’s future in doubt.

Song is drawing towards the end of his season-long loan from Barcelona, and his long-term future has yet to be decided. The Mirror has reported on interest from Liverpool in the midfielder, and that has drawn more confusion as to whether he will sign a permanent deal with the Hammers.

With his deal coming to a close, one would expect the Hammers to intensify transfer talks to ensure that he is signed permanently before the end of his loan. If not, there is a real chance the former Arsenal man will look elsewhere - with Anfield the most likely option.

To ensure that Song’s loss will not be felt too heavily, there is a report in Austrian media outlet Sportnet that has claimed the Hammers have been scouting Bundesliga veteran Julian Baumgartlinger as his replacement.

The 27-year-old has won 31 caps for Austria at international level, and has been a regular in the German top flight across the last decade with TSV Munich and currently Mainz. He also has experience of continental football, having spent two seasons with Austria Wien as a key player in their Europa League campaigns.

His contract runs out in the summer, and he would represent a budget option to replace Song if the Cameroonian international does not sign permanently. At 27, he still has a fair few years of top level football ahead of him and his experience of European football could prove vital as the Hammers look to grow in the coming years.

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