As things stand, Jonathan Bamba will leave Saint-Etienne on a free at the end of the season, and, last time we checked, West Ham were still considered the frontrunners to sign the young forward.

The Hammers were said a few months ago to have already made him an offer, with the Hammers ‘holding the lead’ in the race to acquire his services.

That came from But! Football Club, who later reported the Ligue 1’s board had ‘come to terms’ with the fact they’d be losing their starlet in the summer, which was good news for David Moyes and co.

However, there appears to have been a change of heart within the French club, most likely due to their recent run of good form, and they are still working on trying to keep him.

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This is what their general director Frédéric Paquet revealed on Wednesday, relayed by Le Progrès: “In the future, we’ll have to be more vigilant with contracts. We have to be able to take more risks.

“We want to keep Bamba. I think that Saint-Etienne is the perfect club for his development. Anything can happen. We’re doing our best to keep him”.

This sentiment was then echoed by Saint-Etienne’s manager, Jean-Louis Gasset.

He said: “If I had to give him advice… I’ve often seen cases like his. His entourage will be advising him… Of course, when you’re at your first club, when you have the chance of basically being a starter, it seems to me that it’s the best time to enjoy yourself, but the end of his contract, football abroad, it intoxicates you a bit”.

Despite praising the West Ham target for all the hard work he’s put in recently, Gasset is like everyone else and doesn’t know whether Bamba will be there next year.

All the Hammers can do now is ensure their offer is better than Saint-Etienne’s.