West Ham United may not be able to sign Aaron Long.

According to Sky Sports, West Ham United are facing frustration in their pursuit of New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long due to work permit issues.

The Hammers want to take Long in a £4million deal thanks to release clause in his contract, and face competition from Lyon, Marseille, Rennes and Fiorentina.

However, Long wants a move to the Premier League, and West Ham are attempting to give him that – but the centre back may not be allowed to make the move to England.

Long allegedly can’t get a work permit to play in England right now, having managed just 11 caps for the United States national team.

West Ham may now miss out on Long to another club, and that’s a major blow as the move bears striking resemblance to the 2018 signing of Fabian Balbuena.

As reported by Football.London, West Ham signed the Paraguayan centre back after activating his release clause of just £4million – exactly the same situation as Long.

Mario Husillos and Manuel Pellegrini would seemingly feel that Long is another Balbuena; a cut-price defender with plenty of club football under his belt as well as international caps, and of the right age – around 26 to 27, meaning they’re experienced but still have potential to develop.

One idea would be to activate that release clause and loan Long out until he can get a work permit, but whether West Ham want to wait for defensive help is another matter.

It would be a shame to miss out on such a bargain, especially as Long is quick, strong and good in the air, but these work permit issues are difficult to overcome in the short term.

In other news, Report: Inter Milan will only sign Spurs star if reported Tottenham target leaves