West Ham United have made a 10 million pounds bid to sign the leading scorer in the Bundesliga, Stefan Kiessling.
The move has been rebuffed by Kiessling's present club, Bayer Leverkusen, even though they had initially indicated that they would sell the German international.
West Ham are determined to strengthen their forward line in the January transfer window and the 28 year-old, who has 12 goals in the league this season, has impressed Sam Allardyce's team.
In an intriguing twist it is understood that Marseille have offered their striker Loic Remy to West Ham despite being in advanced talks to sell the 25-year-old French international to Newcastle United for 11.5 million pounds.
Marseille held talks last week with Newcastle representatives and originally asked for 10 million pounds plus a player. However, Newcastle proposed a straight cash offer for Remy which was accepted in principle. Newcastle are already braced for the possibility of losing Demba Ba, who has a 7 million pounds release clause in his contract, in January, although it is believed Arsenal's initial interest has cooled owing to concerns over the striker's medical history.
Marseille have now gone to West Ham and told them that Remy is available for pounds 8?million plus the striker Modibo Maiga - a proposal that has been rejected.
West Ham do not want to lose Maiga, who only arrived in the summer from Sochaux for about 4.5 million pounds, at this stage, even though he is due to go to the Africa Cup of Nations with Mali.
With Andy Carroll injured, West Ham are short of strikers and have also discussed the possibility of taking Marouane Chamakh, who may also go to the Africa Cup of Nations with Morocco, on loan from Arsenal, while they still retain an interest in Stuttgart's Martin Harnik.
West Ham have also been offered the chance to sign the former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka, as have other clubs such as Queens Park Rangers, as he attempts to free himself from his contract with Shanghai Shenhua, but the likelihood of him being taken on is slim.
Kiessling, who has six caps for Germany and is in outstanding form, is 29 in January and with two years left on his contract it is thought that Leverkusen might want to cash in and that the player himself is interested in a move to England. But it is understood there has been a change of heart much to West Ham's frustration.
West Ham's search for another striker does not mean that they intend to send Carroll back to his parent club, Liverpool, as has been suggested. Indeed the club are keen for the England striker to remain with them throughout the campaign and also have first option to sign him in the summer.
Liverpool have given no indication that they would like Carroll back.