West Ham have confirmed that midfielder Julien Faubert is in talks about a move to Real Madrid until the end of the season.
The versatile Frenchman has endured a frustrating time since moving to Upton Park from Bordeaux in the summer of 2007.
He suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon within weeks of his arrival which kept him on the sidelines for six months.
Faubert's Hammers career has continued to be disrupted by injuries and he has struggled to consistently find his best form.
Welcome the opportunity
Speculation has surfaced over a move away from the Premier League and Faubert admitted earlier in January that he would welcome the opportunity to move to Lyon.
But Real are now poised to win the chase for his signature after the Hammers gave Faubert permission to speak with the Spanish giants.
West Ham CEO Scott Duxbury told the club's official website: "He had asked the manager about a possible move and we felt it right to let him talk to Real Madrid.
"If it does not happen then we will of course welcome Julien back into the squad.
"I was first contacted by Madrid on Friday morning and after extensive negotiations we have agreed in principle a deal that would see them paying us a £1.5million fee to take Julien until the end of the season.
"His long-term future would then be reviewed in the summer with a significant transfer fee payable should Madrid want to take up their option.
"If Julien does go on loan, then we will look quickly to bring in a replacement."
Sky Sports News chief news reporter Bryan Swanson understands Real Madrid are then willing to pay at least £4.5million in the summer to secure a permanent transfer.
West Ham paid £6million to Bordeaux for Faubert.