With West Ham comfortable in the knowledge they will be in the Premier League next season, it isn’t all that surprising to see them look around the transfer market, preparing for the summer window.
One of the areas they could look at strengthening, although not drastically, is the centre-back position following Winston Reid’s barren season, leaving just Angelo Ogbonna, Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena as their depth for the role.
Furthermore, Declan Rice’s emergence in midfield has left Pellegrini rather thin at the back, which is why, alongside Cardiff City, they are looking at an option who would be cheap but bring some experience at the same time: Nottingham Forest’s Yohan Benalouane.
This is what Foot Mercato claimed over the weekend, stating that both the Hammers and the Bluebirds were looking at the veteran centre-back as an option for next season.
The defender, who signed for Martin O’Neill’s side on a free in January, has impressed since arriving at City Ground, making nine appearances in the Championship and scoring one goal.
West Ham and Cardiff City are said to ‘appreciate’ what the 31-year-old has to offer, although Neil Warnock’s side might want to wait to know if they have a future in the Premier League first.
Currently 18th with a game in hand, the Bluebirds still have everything to play for, but a tough run including games against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and an away fixture to fellow relegation strugglers Burnley could all but seal their fate.
At this stage, you would expect Benalouane to only move for a step up, having finally found some regular football after years of nothingness at Leicester City.