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Hammers snubbed Caicedo for alternative deal

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.

• Blog: Right-back where we started from

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.

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