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West Ham are interested in signing Reading centre-back Jake Cooper, as reporting by The Times.

The Hammers are already expected to complete a deal for Leeds United right-back Sam Byram this week, and they’re now believed to be eyeing Cooper as another young defender from England’s second tier.

Cooper broke in to the Royals’ first team last season and has become an impressive feature in Brian McDermott’s side ever since.

It’s not clear how much Cooper would cost the Hammers but with the club supposedly getting pretty close to their wage budget – and therefore breaching Financial Fair Play regulations – it wouldn’t be a surprise if a deal didn’t materialise until the summer, if at all.

Alternatively, if West Ham are desperate enough to secure Cooper’s signature as early as possible, it would be beneficial for both clubs to allow Cooper to return to Reading on loan for the remainder of the campaign if a deal is completed this month.

Cooper has represented England at U18 and U19 level and has made 21 first team appearances for Reading since his breakthrough last term.

It’s clear West Ham are eager to take advantage of the talent available in the Championship, following the success of Aaron Cresswell since he signed from Ipswich at the beginning of last season.

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