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West Ham United have identified Bournemouth’s Steve Cook as a potential solution to David Moyes’ centre-back search, according to the Daily Star.

With Wesley Fofana joining Leicester City, James Tarkowski staying at Burnley and Jonathan Tah proving to be just too damn expensive, the Hammers have no choice but to delve into the Football League if they want to bring a new defender to the London Stadium.

But it seems that Craig Dawson – made available by Watford amid interest from the Hammers (Hertfordshire Mercury) – is not the only option being considered.

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29-year-old Cook, like Dawson, is a man with plenty of Premier League experience under his belt.

The old-school stopper made 158 top-flight appearances across five years before Bournemouth’s big time dream ended in relegation last season.

Manchester City’s new £40 million signing Nathan Ake might have hogged the headlines at the Vitality Stadium, but centre-back partner Cook was the glue that held Bournemouth together on and off the pitch; an inspirational captain willing to throw his body on the line to stop a goal.

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“I am really pleased for Cookie to follow that path. He is a thoroughly deserving recipient. He has been absolutely outstanding this season,” former Cherries boss Eddie Howe told the Daily Echo when Cook as named the club’s Player of the Year.

“He has been very consistent and I think that is probably the biggest compliment I can give him. He has been there every week and shown real maturity, especially in his recent performances.”

The Sun (27 September, page 61) reported that Bournemouth want £8 million for a man they signed from Brighton and Hove Albion for a bargain £150,000 eight years ago.

Sean Dyche’s Burnley are also interested.

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West Ham’s record transfers

  1. Sebastien Haller

    £45 million

  2. Felipe Anderson

    £41.5 million

  3. Marko Arnautovic

    £25 million

  4. Pablo Fornals

    £24 million

  5. Issa Diop

    £22 million

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