West Ham United offered to pay £31 million for AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, Tuttomercatoweb reported back in November. And anyone who has watched The Hammers play this season will tell you why the Ivory Coast international was in their sights.
Yes, Declan Rice has been a revelation in the engine room while Mark Noble has rolled back the years of late but long-term injuries to both Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez has left them short in the centre of the park.
Pedro Obiang, however, has been a shadow of his former self in recent months – perhaps explaining why Manuel Pellegrini reportedly wanted to sell him in the summer.
So Kessie, who at the age of just 22 has established himself as one of the most complete midfielders in European football, would have walked into Pellegrini’s starting XI on paper. He would provide the energy, steel and thrust that West Ham are crying out for.
Imagine the frustration among Hammers fans, then, if Kessie moved to Tottenham months after their £31 million bid fell flat.
TMW claims that Spurs have entered talks with the agent of the Milan powerhouse as they look to sign him in the summer, most likely as a replacement for the departed Mousa Dembele. Kessie will reportedly cost £35 million – just £4 million more than West Ham were apparently ready to pay.
Now, Kessie is the sort of all-action midfielder who could take West Ham to the next level - so they shouldn't just stand by as Spurs go full steam ahead.