Avram Grant is ready to spark a capital bidding war by launching a raid for Israel star Itay Shechter.
The Hapoel Tel Aviv striker is being chased by a whole host of clubs including West Ham and London rivals Tottenham.
Shechter is keen to make the move to the Premier League in the New Year following a successful spell with Hapoel.
The Israeli champions are desperate to keep hold of the player following their poor start to the Champions League group stage. Hapoel, who face Schalke on Tuesday, have lost all three of their games and look unlikely to even secure a place in the Europa League.
The £7m rated forward scored 25 goals last season and was on target in Israel's recent defeats by Croatia and Greece.
Tottenham have already sent scouts to monitor Shechter's progress, while Birmingham and Newcastle are also keeping a close eye on him.
But Hammers manager Grant is keen to beat Spurs to the player's signature.
"I haven't seen him many times but I think he's a good player," said Grant.
"At the end of October and the start of November players get linked with many clubs.
"For the moment we will wait and see because January is far."
Shechter's main problem could be attaining a UK work permit after failing to appear in 75 per cent of Israel's international matches over the past two years.
But the player's agent, Ronen Katsav, is confident he can help him secure a move to London in January.
Katsav said: " We are preparing documentation to prove that Etay missed international matches because of injury and suspension through yellow cards and we believe this will convince UK officials to give him a permit."
Meanwhile, Shechter has been told he will not face disciplinary action following his kippah celebration during the victory over Red Bull Salzburg.