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West Ham United set sights on Atletico Madrid’s Mario Suarez

West Ham United, 4/1 for a top six finish with Coral, are reportedly ready to make a loan offer for Atletico Madrid midfielder Mario Suarez.

The Hammers have already moved quickly to snap up Canada defender Doneil Henry this winter and now appear to be homing in on their next target.

Sam Allardyce is believed to be circling for Atleti academy product Suarez, who has fallen out of favour at the Vicente Calderon this campaign, and could be allowed to depart, at least on a temporary deal.

Arsenal were previously linked with the 27-year-old anchorman, but it now seems that West Ham and Italian giants AC Milan are the main contenders for his services.

The Rossoneri were supposedly keen on acquiring Suarez on loan in summer, but were rebuffed as Atletico were said to only be interested in offloading the Spaniard permanently.

This could now have changed, however, and the San Siro side will be confident of jumping to the front of the queue after recently agreeing a deal to loan Italy attacker Alessio Cerci from Atleti, with Fernando Torres temporarily returning to his boyhood club in exchange.

Suarez, who has been capped twice for Spain, made 17 outings as the capital club lifted La Liga last season, and has been restricted to just nine league appearances this term, heightening rumours an exit from Atleti could be in the works.

Big Sam is likely to be undeterred by AC Milan’s rivalry for midfield shield Suarez, having already impressed with his wheeling and dealing at Upton Park.

The Hammers’ links with the Atleti graduate emerged as Barcelona-owned Alex Song, one of Big Sam’s surprising but sensational summer signings, seemed to be considering joining Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Now defensive midfielder Song’s negotiations with his nation appear to have broken down for good, with the ex-Arsenal man announcing his international retirement.

It is not known whether this could affect West Ham’s intention to lure Suarez to East London, but the Upton Park outfit could still benefit from bolstering their squad in the winter window.

With Cheikhou Kouyate preparing to join Senegal for the AFCON, the Hammers, 25/1 for a top four finish, may still require midfield reinforcements.

In addition, if Song does not become available for a permanent switch in summer, Big Sam could ease his search for another new recruit by testing Suarez’s suitability to the Premier League beforehand.