West Ham are trying to tempt Portsmouth captain Marc Wilson away from the clutches of Stoke with a late bid just days before the transfer window closes.
Stoke are convinced that they have been successful with a £3 million bid for the centre back, even though Portsmouth have insisted they will not sell. Pompey remain strapped for cash and will find it difficult to resist the offer.
Stoke thought they had beaten rivals West Brom to the signing of Wilson, but now Avram Grant, who worked with Wilson at Fratton Park last season, has made his late move. The London club fear it might prove to be too late, though.
A Hammers insider told Soccernet on Friday: "It seems that a deal is 98% done with Stoke, but we are trying to get him." Wilson has made 34 league appearances for Portsmouth and has started all five of the club's game so far this season.