Sam Byram is set to turn down a move to Everton and join West Ham United in the next 24 hours after the London club launched a late bid for the defender.
West Ham tabled an offer for Byram on the back of his talks with Everton over the weekend and appear to have won the fight to sign Leeds United’s talented right-back.
Byram met with officials from Goodison Park on Sunday to discuss a potential transfer but he raised doubs about the likelihood of a switch to Merseyside by reporting for training with Leeds at Thorp Arch yesterday morning.
A source at Elland Road told the YEP that Byram was taking time to “think it through” with West Ham continuing to make United aware of their interest in signing him.
The London club remained in contact with Leeds owner Massimo Cellino following confirmation of Everton £3.7m offer and have now tabled a bid of their own.
A number of sources claim West Ham are effectively matching Everton's valuation but Cellino told the YEP their offer was "much lower" - and said Byram's refusal to move to Goodison Park had forced Leeds to accept it.
“West Ham’s bid is much lower than Everton’s," Cellino said. "I don’t control the player. He wants to go, he decides when and where.”
United accepted Everton’s offer last Thursday and granted Byram permission to open negotiations with manager Roberto Martinez.
Head coach Steve Evans left him out of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and said he had done so at Byram’s request following Everton’s approach.
Byram, however, was back at Thorp Arch yesterday and is believed to have spoken with West Ham over the weekend.
His immediate prospects at Goodison Park are likely to be more limited with Seamus Coleman firmly established as Everton’s first-choice right-back.
Martinez was cautious about the chances of Byram joining Everton when he spoke on Friday, admitting he was aware of interest in the defender from rival Premier League sides.
Martinez said: “He’s a young man with a lot of experience of the Championship but his next step needs to be a good step for Sam and his family. It’s not going to happen overnight.”
Byram has played 143 times for Leeds but his appearance in a 2-0 FA Cup win over Rotherham United nine days ago will be his last for the club.