Hammers boss Slaven Bilic is growing impatient with Andy Carroll, if a report from the Mirror is to be believed, and is willing to sanction his exit from the club this summer.
If the Croatian does allow the 28-year-old to leave West Ham, he will obviously have to sign an able-bodied replacement, and rather than complicating matters, he could make life a whole lot easier for himself and the club by offering Carroll's services to the Potters in exchange for Marko Arnautovic.
The Austrian has proven his quality during his time with Stoke, and is exactly the type of player who the Hammers faithful will be instantly endeared to, what with his mesmerising trickery and passionate displays.
Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic
Whilst the 28-year-old is most commonly deployed in the wide left attacking role, he is able to play anywhere along the front-line, and that kind of versatility could prove to be vital to West Ham's chances of success next season.
His direct playing style would offer Bilic a more potent threat in wide areas and through the middle. He is also far more durable than Carroll, having made 85 Premier League starts over the past three seasons, in comparison to the former Liverpool man's 40.
That isn't to say that the 6ft 4in Geordie would not have a positive effect on Mark Hughes' side, however. Despite Stoke's style changing since the former Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers boss took over in 2013, they are still prone to playing direct football at times, and Carroll's inclusion in the side would certainly provide them with an added threat.
The productivity of Xherdan Shaqiri would also surely improve, with someone like the West Ham man in the middle to aim for, when delivering crosses into the box.
With both players being the same age, their respective valuations cannot be too dissimilar, so a swap deal involving the pair should be a fairly straightforward one to approach.
And both clubs could reap huge benefits by swapping the strikers, as they look to make improvements on last season's underwhelming displays.
West Ham's Andy Carroll
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