WEST HAM UNITED are ready to test Middlesbrough’s intentions to keep Adama Traore at the Riverside after David Moyes identified him as a player he would like this month.

The Hammers are looking to boost their options on the flanks after Michail Antonio's groin injury and are also considering a move for Newcastle’s Christian Atsu if they are unable to pull off a swoop for Traore.

Middlesbrough’s Spanish winger has shown his talent in flashes since arriving from Aston Villa in the summer of 2016 and has caught the eye of a number of Premier League clubs.

Chelsea explored the possibility of signing him a year ago but were put off by his valuation at the time of around £15m, and Boro still regard him highly despite a testing year on Teesside.

Pulis has already shown he rates him, and has used him ever since he introduced him as a substitute against Aston Villa when he sensed the fans and the players were lifted by his presence on the pitch.

Traore was also the pick of the players during Saturday’s defeat to Fulham when he tormented the Cottagers’ highly-rated Ryan Sessegnon, who has been labelled a £50m prospect amid interest from Champions League clubs.

Middlesbrough’s 21-year-old is exciting and unpredictable to watch and seems destined for a Premier League return at some stage – and with the right coaching he could be a star of the game.

Under Pulis he has already shown a willingness to work back and defend as well as explode in an attacking sense, although he still lacks an end product when he gets in the final third.

Moyes is a known admirer and is being linked with a long list of players, with Traore as well as Newcastle duo Atsu and Jonjo Shelvey included.

West Ham are looking to reduce the size of the squad this month and raise some money of their own, with Diafra Sakho and Javier Hernandez the two likeliest contenders to leave.

Cashing in on those two would help raise the funds for Moyes to spend but Middlesbrough will be reluctant to let an asset with such potential like Traore leave on the cheap.

Middlesbrough are still in the mix for promotion despite losing again at home to Fulham on Saturday. They will head to Queens Park Rangers this weekend two points shy of the final play-off spot, with second-placed Derby 11 points away.

Pulis has been linked with a move for Hibernian’s John McGinn but it is unlikely Boro would agree to pay the £5m demanded from Hibs manager Neil Lennon.

The need for different midfield options at Boro could change if players move on and Aitor Karanka, now at Nottingham Forest, ,is looking at Grant Leadbitter, Adam Clayton and Adam Forshaw.

Karanka would love to have Leadbitter and he has entered the final six months of his contract but is being used by Pulis. The 32-year-old, however, has been heavily linked with Forest in the past and Karanka’s appointment there has strengthened their interest.

Lewis Baker, meanwhile, is expected to return to Chelsea early from his loan and that has alerted Celtic. The 22-year-old has featured 12 times and scored two but not since September.