West Ham youngster Reece Oxford is set to join Reading on loan for the rest of the season.
Nottingham Forest and Scottish giants Rangers had been linked with a move for the highly-rated 18-year-old, while reports suggested Brentford had also been in the running.
But the Royals, who sit third in the Championship, have jumped to the front of the queue.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of his side’s game with Manchester City on Wednesday, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic praised Reading boss Jaap Stam, saying: “The manager there was really important for me in that decision.”
Oxford, who can play in defence or midfield, only returned this month from a 10-week injury lay-off.
His only first-team appearances this season came in the Europa League qualifiers with Domzale and Astra.
Oxford did however play seven times in the Premier League last term, impressing on his debut against Arsenal as a 16-year-old.
The Hammers, who have sold Dimitri Payet and signed Robert Snodgrass and Jose Fonte in this window, appear to have ended their pursuit of Brentford striker Scott Hogan.
Slaven Bilic was keen to sign the 24-year-old but the club have been unable to match the Bees’ asking price, leaving the way clear for Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
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