West Ham boss David Moyes has hinted he could play Declan Rice in defence, allowing him to alter his transfer plans.
Rice has been linked with a move to Chelsea during the summer though started for the Hammers as they lost to Newcastle last weekend.
Moyes has been quiet in the transfer window though did confirm the permanent signing of Tomas Soucek.
The former Manchester United boss is wanting to make more signings, though has admitted he could use Rice in a different position.
Asked which area he is desperate to improve in the transfer market, Moyes responded: “I wouldn’t say desperate because we have a big squad here.
“We have an imbalance, we have an awful lot of wide players who can play upfront or midfield and less defenders to choose from.
“We lost Jeremy Ngakia, Pablo Zabaleta and Winston Reid so we are short in those areas.
“We are trying to bring defenders but I also have the option of using Declan Rice at centre back so I could bring in a midfielder to free up the option of playing Declan in defence.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has been busy in the summer but could still sign Rice.
Ashley Cole said: "I think Rice can step in, in midfield. He’s been very good for West Ham. He’s definitely a key player for West Ham.
"What he brings is, he can tackle, he can break up play, he’s clever and he can pass.
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"You want him to be brave on the ball, break things up, but then penetrate through lines with the quality pass that he’s got.
"He’s a big strong lad, and he’s not afraid to put himself about and win tackles. He’s going to be integral for this team going forward."
West Ham take on Arsenal tonight in their next Premier League match.