West Ham are aiming to complete a deal worth up to £30 million ($38m) including add-ons for Brentford winger Said Benrahma after he returns from international duty with Algeria.
The 25-year-old has attracted interest from Chelsea and Crystal Palace among others but the two London clubs stopped short of making a bid, with David Moyes' side taking the initiative while the EFL transfer window is still open.
Brentford have long indicated a £30m asking price which the Hammers, as first reported by the Guardian, are willing to reach as long as they can pay through performance-related bonuses and instalments.
The deal will have to be completed by 5pm on Friday 16 October and a medical could be done as soon as he returns from playing with his country on Wednesday, to put him in contention to face Tottenham at the weekend.
There is reported interest from the Hammers' Premier League rivals Aston Villa and Fulham, but the east London club are expected to complete the deal.
The Algeria international scored 17 goals last season and got nine assists as the Bees narrowly missed out on promotion after losing in the play-off final to Scott Parker's Fulham.
The move would be welcomed by Hammers fans who were reassured that the £18m ($23m) earned from the sale of young winger Grady Diangana to West Brom would be re-invested in the squad.
West Ham have been hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic but have managed to vastly reduce their wage bill by offloading Jack Wilshere, Pablo Zabaleta, Jeremy Ngakia, Carlos Sanchez and Albian Ajeti. Elsewhere, Josh Cullen was sold to Anderlecht for £1m.
The only incoming deal this summer has been Vladimir Coufal in a £5.4m ($7m) from Slavia Prague. Also signing from Slavia, Tomas Soucek's initial loan move was made permanent for £15m ($19m).
However, the addition of arguably the Championship's brightest talent could make it a positive summer for Moyes' side who also managed to keep hold of Declan Rice despite interest from big-spending Chelsea.
Rice was taken off the market by the Hammers but the Blues are likely to come back to try to sign their former academy player in future transfer windows.
By Nizaar Kinsella
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