West Ham United opted out of a loan deal for Manchester City starlet Felipe Caicedo, not because of an administrative error, but because they are hoping to secure an alternative player.
Ecuador international Caicedo agreed personal terms, underwent a medical at Upton Park and looked set to join the Hammers on a season-long loan with an option for a permanent transfer next summer for £1 million, but West Ham pulled the plug at the last minute.
FA rules state that Premier League clubs can only loan two players from other English clubs and with Tal Ben-Haim taking up one spot, West Ham are eager to have a space available should a high-profile deal become possible.
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan explained: "We wanted to keep our last English loan open in case there are any last minute deals. Foreign loans do not count in the two."
Caicedo, 21, was bought for £7.1 million two seasons ago, but is not part of Roberto Mancini's plans. City were happy for him to go to Upton Park on a season long loan.
Reports in the UK press claim that West Ham are eying up a swoop for unsettled Liverpool forward Ryan Babel instead.
Meanwhile, Soccernet can confirm that the Hammers want to take Inter Milan's Victor Obinna on loan with a view to a permanent deal.